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Managing and Leading: The Heart of Management

Managing and Leading: The Heart of Management

            A quote by John Quincy Adams states, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader” (Inspirational Quotes, n.d., para 7).  This quote succinctly defines what it means to lead.  An organization with a strong leader is destined to succeed.  Without leadership and management, an organization fails to exist.

            The goals of an organization are met through management and leadership.  Goals are the integral foundation of an organization, because goals provide direction and a plan of action. An organization is successful when the goals are properly defined and achieved.  The employees of an organization make an organization successful, while management makes employees successful.  Even with the recent trend of a horizontal organizational structure, where the employees have more latitude for independent operations and more responsibility for the setting the goals of an organization, a form of management needs to be present.  Defining management and leadership is simple; the crux comes in successful mastery of leading and managing.  Thankfully, a person can learn management skills and, to a degree, leadership skills. Understanding the role management and leadership plays in an organization, the differences between these principle, and how the four principles of management influences the organizational culture, allows a manager to devise management strategies that will lead an organization to success.

The Management and Leadership in an Organization

            Management is the guiding force to an organization; with out some level of management the organization will never reach its goals. Leading is part of management and is the principle that establishes how goals will be reached.  Organizational leadership comes in two basic forms, managers and leaders.  Leaders might not be part of management, but managers are always part of management.  Managers are technical leaders who use the organizational resources to complete goals.  Leaders inspire people to achieve goals, lead through example, and illicit emotional connection to the organization.

            There are different types of managers.  Top-level managers are executives and heads of the organization.  A chief executive officer (CEO) is an example of a top-level manager.  Mid-level managers report to the top-level and are responsible for an area of operations in the organization.  A plant manager or director of southwest operations is examples of a mid-level manager.  Finally, lower-level managers are responsible for day-to-day operations.  A service manager at an auto dealer would be a lower-level manager.  In addition, there are managers at the same levels but with various functions, such as project manager and functional managers (McNamara, Managers, 2007, para 3).  There are also types of leaders.  Categorizing leaders, as to there function in an organization, is not as defined as with managers.  Two popular classifications are supervisory leadership and strategic leadership.  “Supervisory leadership is behavior that provides guidance, support, and corrective feedback for day-to-day activities. Strategic leadership gives purpose and meaning to organizations” (Bateman, 2007, pg 396).  These two classifications encompass and generically define the various functions leaders have in an organization.  While classification is not as clear, various types of leaders in an organization are autocratic, democratic, laissez-faire, and informal (McNamara, Leaders, 2007, para 1).

            Management is able to perform their function because of power, the ability to influence others.  Power comes from legitimate power, comes from position; reward power, attained by ability to grant bonuses and raises; coercive, comes from ability to discipline; referent power, a person’s attributes that attract others; and expert power, attained from ones knowledge of the operations in an organization (Bateman, 2007, pgs. 398-399).   An effective manager will use the all the powers judiciously.  When a manager relies too much on one power, his or her ability to lead becomes compromised.

The Differences between Managers and Leaders

            When discussing this management and leadership, a dichotomy of definitions exists between leaders and managers.  While the goals of managers and leaders are the same, the methods employed and the employee’s interactions are different.  Managers work toward meeting goals through “planning, organization, staffing, directing, and controlling” (The Difference Between Management And Leadership, 1997, Managers, para 1).  Leaders entice people to reach goals through motivation, coaching, building trust, and providing vision.  A manager will revert to implied power and delve out discipline to get results, while a leader will cultivate an employee’s personal desire to succeed to get the same results.  Managers are more technical, in that they use policy and procedures, leading “by the book.”  Leaders use emotion, leading from the heart and gut intuition.  When encountering a difficult decision, a manager will research the company policies and previous actions to find a solution.  A leader will analyze the situation and take the action he or she “feels” is correct.   If an organization has a strong leader, this intuitive response will be quicker and normally yield better results.   Employee response is major element.  Employees, who are happy with management, are more productive and dedicated.  Employees follow managers because of implied power from their position and the authority the position gives the manager.  Leaders garner followers because the people want to follow them.  Leaders gain this following because leaders give credit, shoulder responsibility, and celebrate achievements as a group (The Difference Between Management And Leadership, 1997, Loyalty, para 2).

Impact on the Four Principles of Management

            Organizational culture is a difficult concept to define in one sentence.  “Organizational culture is basically a set of shared values and beliefs which interact with an organization’s people, structure and systems to produce behavioural (sp) norms. It is the ‘social glue’ that binds an organization’s members together” (Malhi, n.d., para 2).  Management plays a huge role in establishing and maintaining this culture.  The four principles of management, planning, organization, leading, and controlling can be uses as a blueprint for a developing a strong organizational culture.  Successful and effective use of these four principles will establish strong leadership.  Strong leadership will yield productive and dedicated members.  The four principles set the building blocks of an organization’s goals, and a key component in all these steps informing and including the employees.  When employees are informed and included, the employee feels he or she has a purpose and input into the organization.  During the planning function of management, establishing goals that foster an organizational culture should be a priority for management.  Including the employees during this phase will set the tone.  To strengthen this culture, the organization can be designed to place members with similar views and beliefs together and provide training and support of the new culture.  Management can use leadership to show the importance of the culture by not only embracing organizational culture and keeping the culture while pursuing the goals.  The function of control allows management to stop behavior that is counterproductive to the organizational culture and monitor the organizational culture.

Strategies

            When attempting to develop or change an organization’s culture, management needs to focus on improving communications and involving members in the development of the culture.
Traditional business structure is a hierarchy vertical structure, where the decisions are made at the top and passed down through the levels, eventually being carried out by the individuals.  Communication occurs along this same path.  In organizational culture, this type of top-down communication inhibits the formation of the culture.  For management to bring about an effective organizational culture communication must flow back and forth.  One effective method for accomplishing this is through monthly or quarterly staff meetings.  These meetings will be held in an informal setting where everyone is free to express his or her views and opinions.  The purpose of these meetings is to encourage the flow of information.  Not every member of an organization needs to present, even though this would be optimal, this may be impractical for large organizations.  However, all managers should be encouraged to have these meetings with their subordinates.  In a fire-based organization, meetings are held once a month, on each shift.  The shift commander and unit supervisors attend the meetings to discuss all aspects of operations.  After this meeting, the supervisors will hold meetings with their crews.  At the unit level, these meetings are encouraged on a more frequent basis.  This fire-based organization is lacking the department level meeting.  Complaints are voiced about the lack of this meeting.  The organization’s members feel a disconnect towards the goals of upper management and that upper management is unaware of the issues that effect the members.  This is counterproductive to a healthy organizational culture and needs to be addressed.

            Another focus for organizational cultures is the involvement of the members in developing the culture.  A strategy for involving all levels is cooperation in the planning of goals for the organization.  When management and workers unite to develop goals, input comes from various insights and experiences and factual information is spread through the organization.  Keeping goals a mystery is near fatal to organizations.  How can the members of an organization, the ones that facilitate accomplishment of the goals, aggressively pursue the goals when they know nothing or very little about the goals?  In the same fire-based organization, most processes, such as hiring and promotional, include members from all ranks and levels.  This has proven successful in developing an organization culture of cooperation and dedication, at least in regard to those processes.  However, some goals are set that have little input from lower levels.  This leads to misinformation and mistrust, two elements that destroy organizational culture.

            The leading function of management requires understanding of the elements leadership and management as well as the differences, how leading and the other principles of leadership effect the organizational culture, a healthy, strong organizational culture permeates the organization.  A manager will use all the available resources of an organization to drive successful accomplishment of organizational goals.  Leaders, whether a part of management or not, will motivate successful completion of goals through a more personable approach.  Both are effective, but leaders will always bring about a stronger organizational culture.  A manager may get an employee to arrive to work on time, a leader will get that employee to show 15 minutes earlier.   The four principles of management, used appropriately, will foster a healthy organizational culture.  By using organizational meetings and involvement of all levels in goal setting, an organization can develop and maintain a strong organizational culture.  Organizational leaders and managers are the heart of an organization.  These individuals keep the organization functioning and the stronger the heart, the more healthy and stronger the organization.

References

Bateman, T.S. & Snell, S.A. (2007). Management: the new competitive landscape (7th ed.). McGraw-Hill/Irwin: New York, NY.

Malhi, R. S. (n.d.). Creating a healthy organizational culture. Retrieved on February 1, 2008 from the website: http://www.tqm.com.my/article8.htm

McNamara, C. (2007). Basics—definitions (and misconceptions) about management.  Retrieved on February 1, 2008 from the website: http://www.managementhelp.org/mgmnt/defntion.htm#anchor654851

The Difference Between Management And Leadership. (1997, February 6). Retrieved on February 1, 2008 from the website: http://www.see.ed.ac.uk/~gerard/MENG/ME96/Documents/Intro/leader.html