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Difference between leadership and management

At the onset it seems that there is no difference between management and leadership. Both these concepts involve the presence of an individual who aids in coordinating the different aspects of organizational tasks. Management and leadership are also similar in the sense that both these ideas are critical to the success of every organization in the sense that the absence of one would leave any organization ineffective (Kelley 2005).

There are many more similarities between these concepts that can lead people to the conclusion that leadership and management are indeed just different sides of the same coin, so to speak. There is a fundamental difference between leadership and management, however, in that leadership is more encompassing and involves a greater degree of discretion as opposed to simple management. Leadership can be defined as THAT PARTICULAR SKILL OR ABILITY THAT MAKES ONE STAND OUT IN AN ORGANIZATION ESPECIALLY THOSE THAT REQUIRE TEAMWORK OR COORDINATION.

While many may argue that this definition is similar to the functions of management, there is a clear distinction between these two concepts because an important element of management is being in a certain hierarchical position within the organizational structure (Bennis 2001). Leadership, on the other hand, is something that is not lodged exclusively in the upper echelons of every organization (Warneka 2006). Leadership is a quality that may exists at even the lowest levels of any organization; hence the saying that leaders are not created but are born and therefore the need of identifying the born leaders within any organization.

Leaders are natural born and not created. A leadership skill is developed and not taught. Leaders always stand out in working environments that require teamwork and coordination, particularly when it involves a difficult task and there are no other competent people to do the job (Maxwell, 1998) Great leaders have been said to be catalysts of change because of their ability to motivate, to inspire and to make any group of individuals act as a cohesive working unit (House, 2004).

Good managers, on the other hand, are those who are able to correctly follow the instructions of superiors or carry out the tasks that are required of him or her (Torbert 2004). Leaders are required to do so much more than managers. In the same vein, leadership requires so much out of an individual in comparison to management.

References: Argyris, C. (1976) Increasing Leadership Effectiveness, Wiley, New York, Bennis, W. , Spreitzer, G. and Cummings, T. (2001) The Future of Leadership: Today’s Top Leadership Thinkers Speak to Tomorrow’s Leaders Jossey-Bass Publishing Company House, R.J. (2004) Culture, Leadership, and Organizations: The GLOBE Study of 62 Societies, SAGE Publications, Thousand Oaks Kelley, M. (2005).

The Clear Leader Fast Company Magazine Issue No. 92 March 2005 Maxwell, J. and Ziglar, Z. (1998) The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership Nelson Business Publishing House Torbert, W. (2004) Action Inquiry: the Secret of Timely and Transforming Leadership, San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers. Warneka, T. (2006). Leading People the Black Belt Way: Conquering the Five Core Problems Facing Leaders Today. Asogomi Publications Intl. Cleveland, Ohio.