Leadership and Management


Leadership involves influencing the actions of a group with an aim of achieving a common goal (Parry & Bryman, n.d.). It also involves impacting others to make them react or behave in a certain manner. Leaders normally influence a group which may or may not have chosen them. Management on the other hand involves coordinating and organizing a group in accordance to some laid down rules with an aim of achieving certain objectives.

Good leadership or management involves accepting input and advice from outside sources including consultants and professionals. Every organization which wants to prosper has to effect changes. But change is normally resisted by employees, leadership, and management. It is therefore common to receive resistance from management when introducing changes in an organization.

Dealing with the Situation

Even though there are different leadership styles, some work better than others at different situations. It is upon leaders to critically analyze a situation and come up with the best style to apply. Autocratic leadership style, which follows a classical approach, allows application of a lot of power and leaders make almost all decisions. It does not give subordinates a chance to participate in the decision making process. It is best applied in an organization with untrained staff who do not know their duties or procedures to follow, when work to be done requires orders to be given, when the powers of leaders are threatened, or when other styles have failed.

Free rein leadership style offers a lot of freedom both to staff and management. It vests all decision making powers and authority to all workers. It is best applicable in situations where staff are highly skilled, experienced, and educated but bot applicable where staff are insecure in the absence of leaders.

Democratic leadership style, also known as participative leadership, encourages staff to take part in the decision making process. It boosts employees’ morale and makes them feel part of an organization. It encourages team work and participation and is characterized with high output. It is most appropriate to use when employees are highly skilled or have a lot of experience, when implementing changes, or when solving employees’ problems. Since employees participate in decision making process, high skills and experience leads to better decisions.

The management therefore after testing the “command and control” style and failed, should implement a participatory style that encourages employees’ input in the decision making process (Nahavandi, 2006, p. 54). Since employees know what happens even at the lowest level of an organization, they will provide management and leadership with critical information that would greatly change the performance of the organization. Moreover, employees will feel they are part of the organization and will put a lot of effort in whatever they do.

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To successfully introduce change and make the management support the change, they should be educated in advance on its importance and be fully involved in the process. The CEO has to inform his managers that for an organization to prosper, change is inevitable. He has to convince them by highlighting reasons why participative approach is better than the previous command and control approach.

Similarities and Differences between Leadership and Management

Both leadership and management require skills such as intelligence, knowledgeable, confidence, independence, good judgment, and flexible (Robbins, 2003). They both work toward achieving organization’s goals and realization of its visions. Moreover, leadership and management involve working with groups.

Management, however, relies on power invested through the position, usually by status or authority. It depends on rules and policies of an organization. Leadership, on the other hand, relies on personal power. It usually depends on interpersonal relationship. A person becomes a manager by “virtue of his position” while a person becomes a leader by the qualities he or she possesses (Management Study Guide, 2012).

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While a manager plans, organizes, and coordinates resources, a leader motivates the group to accomplish the plans developed by a manager. A manager puts most of his efforts towards developing structures and systems of an organization while a leader spends most of his efforts and time on the people he is leading. While a manager controls, a leader inspires. To successfully lead an organization, it is good to be both a manager and a leader. The Chief Executive Officer of the organization was both leading and managing because he was doing both management and leadership duties.

Managers are faced with both moral and ethical challenges in their daily operations. They are to deal with making decisions which may be influenced by political and other forces and receive opposition from different quarters. An example of a case where managers are faced with ethical decision is in the recruitment process where a manager has to make a decision on whether to choose between a disabled person and a normal person, if the job requires moving files from one office to another but the disabled person has more qualifications than the normal person.

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In addition, managers are faced with ethical problems of instilling discipline on employees. They also have to deal with issues of diversity and evaluation. They are required to lead by example when addressing such issues. Managing some of these issues require hardness which may not be friendly to employees but have to be done.

Conclusion and Recommendation

Leadership and management involve making decisions which may bring changes in organizations. Changes normally receive opposition from both employees and management. Effecting changes require input from both employees and management. Participatory approach is best applicable when there are changes to be made in organizations. The CEO should therefore continue implementing the change but involve all parties in the process. 

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