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Leadership And Management: What Do They Have in Common

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Leadership and management are two terms that may seem like the same thing, but are actually both very different. Many may argue to be a manager, you must be a leader. Others may say that leaders can exist in every situation. Managers may be able to manage situations, but they may struggle to lead people to the resolve the situation. Leaders tend to look to the future in order to resolve issues instead of managing them when they happen. Taking a look at the traits of a leader and those of managers will be discussed further in this paper.

Leadership and Management

Leadership and management are often confused by those that think they are the same thing, when really they are very different by definition. “A manager’s role is to bring order and consistency through planning, budgeting, and controlling. Leadership, on the other hand, is aimed at producing movement and change.” (Nahavandi, 2015, Chapter 1). A good leader is looking to the future and is focused on it. Leaders create the change when change is needed and stand behind their changes. Leadership should have goals and strategies in place, and utilize their personal power to meet these goals and set the strategies in place. Solid leadership should also have a culture in place that shares values, and has a strong emotional link to their followers. A good leader has established strong followers that have bought in to their goals and strategies that they have set. Without followers leaders do not exist.

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Management roles tend to be different from leadership, although managers can still be good leaders. Managers are generally focused on the current time. Most managers are working toward stability and maintaining a status quo. They implement policy and procedure, and maintain the current structure. Their power is certainly positional and many remain standoffish to objectivity. Management although similar, they differ in the details.

Personal Management

I currently hold a management title within the company I am employed, and have held management positions at my last three places of employment. I remember being told by my father at a young age, that you can either be a leader, or you can be a follower. The choice was mine to make, but either way I choice would affect me for the rest of my life. I took this very seriously and decided that I was going to be a leader.

My management style has always been a simple one. I am fair and equal in all aspects, whether it is disciplinary, or in reward for a job well done. I have also always managed employees with a “please” and “thank you” approach. No matter what I am asking for out of my employees I lead with please and end with thank you. I have found myself in only a few situations where I needed to skip the please, and utilize my authority to ensure a task was completed. I have also been involved with policy and procedure implementation, and have diligently worked toward maintaining our current structure. My position does call for me to pain attention to the current time in front of us, but I try to stay future driven.

Leadership Style

Since I was young, I have thought of myself as a leader. I have been the one who tends to take control of things, and put a plan together. I have found that through respect of others, I have been able to be persuasive and put things in the corner of our department. The leadership assessment showed that I was a 22 out of 25 for ambassador and the same for experienced guide. I agree with both of these. I pride myself on being able to handle stressful situations, and make decisions under fire. I have been involved in negotiations at both the company level along with union negotiations during contract renewal. I have introduced many new things since my tenure, and have found that they were easily accepted due to the way they were introduced.

Experienced guide is something that I feel many of the people I have worked with, would label me. I am very good about putting myself in my employee’s shoes, and thinking how I would do this, and what does the task involve. I am a listener and have an open door policy with my employees. They know that they can come in at any time and talk. There have been plenty of times that my door has ended closed after a company meeting with people venting, or looking for some kind of guidance. I appreciate being that person, and believe that having a concern for my employees should always be at the top of my list.

Conclusion

Comparisons can be made between leaders and managers, but overall they are different. A good manager may keep the ship afloat, and maintain a status quo around the office. A good leader is looking for a way to move the boat to the next port, and improve the atmosphere in the office. Being a good manager doesn’t necessarily mean that you cannot learn to become a good leader, and in working to strengthen yourself as a manager may lead to stronger leadership skills. The key thing to remember is that without followers, there are no leaders.

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