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3 key differences between managers and leaders - Essay Example

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Certain theorists assert that there is no difference between a leader and a manger, others are of the idea that both of the positions are two different ends of a paradigm and then there are those who believe that there are certain elements that overlap in both the position…
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3 key differences between managers and leaders
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Differences between Managers and Leaders Differences between Managers and Leaders Introduction
Certain theorists assert that there is no difference between a leader and a manger, others are of the idea that both of the positions are two different ends of a paradigm and then there are those who believe that there are certain elements that overlap in both the position (LEDLOW, 2011, p.192). Both the position of leader and manager are quite different from each other, the three main differences between the positions of a leader and a manager includes: the leader is an innovator and the manager is an administrator, leadership is dependent on trust and management is deponent on control and how both these position obtain their power.
Kotter asserts that when an individual is playing the role of a leader he comes up with new ideas and plans and persuades his/her followers into thinking about a future that is both positive and beneficial in nature (KOTTERMAN, 2006, p.15). A leader always has to keep his eyes open for opportunities and develop new techniques and strategies in accordance to these opportunities. On the contrary, a manager has the responsibility of maintaining how the organization is currently running and the culture that has been adopted by the organization. His main aim is to secure the organization’s bottom line and maintain discipline through his controlling role.
According to Nicholaides’ research that the role of a leader is to inspire his/her followers to make them perform at their best and he is well aware of how follower’s pace of work can be increased (Nicolaides, 2010, p.32). He asserts that success in leadership is not dependent on what the individual leader does; it is rather dependant on what the followers do in response to a leader. On the other hand a manager is an individual who uses his control over the employees and subordinates by assisting them in developing their personal asserts and helping them in using their best talents.
Any individual within the organization can become a leader, a leader’s power are not dependant on the position he is assigned to within the organization. For example: a leader can be an executive working in the information technology department. This is because he has expertise and information that nobody else within the organization has and in order to obtain his/her expertise, followers accept him/her as a leader. Stanley suggests that a manager obtains his power due to his/her management level position within the hierarchy of an organization (STANLEY, 2006, p.33). Grint asserts that even managers are followers of a leader as a leader creates the vision of a future and this vision needs to be followed by the managers (GRINT, 2002, p.248).
There has always been a debate on whether leaders and managers are the same or whether they are two different ends of a continuum. Various researchers suggest that both these positions are completely separate. The three main differences between a leader and a follower includes: the acquisition of power, the innovative nature of the leader and the maintenance nature of a manager and the leaders dependency on trust and the manager’s dependency on control.
GRINT, K. (2002). Management or leadership? Journal of Health Services Research and Policy. 7, 248-251.
KOTTERMAN, J. (2006). In My View... - Leadership Versus Management: Whats the Difference? The terms leadership and management are often used interchangeably. Research shows how they overlap and how they diverge. The Journal for Quality and Participation. 29, 13.
LEDLOW, G. R., & COPPOLA, M. N. (2011). Leadership for health professionals: theory, skills, and applications. Sudbury, Mass, Jones and Bartlett.
Nicolaides, A. (2010) Transcendental Leadership versus Management in the South African Hospitality Industry: A Recipe for Success. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 5 Mar 2013].
STANLEY, D. (2006). Applied leadership - Role conflict: Leaders and managers - David Stanley reviews the literature, and discusses his own research, on the difference between management and leadership. Nursing Management. 13, 31. Read More
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