management and leadership. When organizations do not know the difference, they fail at both. employees need strong management as well as strong leadership in order to be the most effective in their roles. This assessment will briefly discuss the differences between management and leadership in relation to helping organizational teams to reach their goals.
Management can be best described as the overseeing the processes, systems, and resources involved in getting work done. They provide employees with the support needed to do their jobs more efficiently (Robbins). Good managers monitor and control workflow and are successfully able to navigate complex bureaucracies. The job of a leader is considerably different. Leadership involves being able to successfully inspire, motivate and influence your team, often serving as a role model. Leaders not only model the behavior they want to be seen in others, but they provide a compelling vision that others can believe in and commit to (Russo). In an organization, people not only need to be given guidance in completing specific tasks, but they also need to feel like they are making a difference and that the work they do matters. That is why having strong management and leadership is crucial to their success and the overall success of the organization.
In my career, I have encountered many management situations, both good and bad. Because I work at a nonprofit organization, we are extremely mission-focused. Many of the senior people here are truly committed to the vision and ideals of the organization, and it gives us the motivation and inspiration we need to continue our work even when things get frustrating. I would say that the only drawback to being so mission and vision-focused is that there isn’t enough attention paid to the actual “nuts and bolts” of how to get things done more efficiently, and I think having some strong managers would help, even if they do not share the same passion for the organization.
In conclusion, the best way to describe the difference between management and leadership is that management works on a micro level and leadership works more on a macro level. Management is more focused on systems, productivity, and the bottom line, while leadership is focused on the larger picture of influencing the team and selling them on your vision. Both are needed in order to successfully lead a team, and the best managers incorporate management and leadership attributes in their strategies.
Robbins, S. P., & Coulter, M. (2012). Managers as Decision Makers. In Management (11th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Russo, D. F. (2010). 17 rules successful companies use to attract and keep top talent: why engaged employees are your greatest sustainable advantage. Indianapolis: FT Press.
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