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You Have to Be a Good Manager to Be an Effective Leader

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  • Pages: 6
  • Word count: 1295
  • Category: Behavior

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Leadership is the power/ability to influence a group of people toward the achievement of goals set by an organisation. It involves establishing a clear vision, sharing that vision with other people and providing the knowledge and method to realize the vision. Dealing with things and people or controlling things and people is all what managers do. Peter Drucker (1909-2005) stated the basic task of management includes both marketing and innovation. Managers are responsible for managing others in a company or business and controlling resources and expenditure. Some people argue that leadership is simply one facet role of the management. Others argue that the contribution of leaders and managers is different; leaders have followers, managers have subordinates, people who follow their rules and work under them. Leaders are mostly seen as visionaries and they drive new initiatives; in contrast managers look to achieve stability. According to Warren Bennis and Burt Nanus (1985) managers do things right, while leaders do the right thing. Doing the right things implies a direction, a goal, an objective, a dream, a vision, a reach and a path.

To begin, let’s see the difference between managers and leaders by their definitions. A person who is responsible for directing and planning the work of a individual’s group, controlling and administering their work, and taking corrective action when necessary is known as manager. Managers are also responsible to control expenditure and resources. The most important thing managers’ do is make quick, accurate, and decisive decisions. However, the role of a leader is much more complex; A leader by its meaning is the person who always goes first and leads others by example, so that other people are motivated to follow him.

A leader is “a person who influences a group of people towards the achievement of a goal”. This is a basic requirement. To be a leader, a person must have a fixed commitment to the goal that he will try his best to achieve it even if nobody follows him. A clue for this definition would be 3P’s – Person, People and Purpose. Where person (leader) influence people to achieve the purpose (goals). There are so many writers who have made distinction between leadership and management. Classification of management and leadership is distinguished in number of ways by Martin(2001). In terms of the role, he thinks leadership is a component of management. Martin also argues that leaders tend to be focused inwardly, whereas managers tend to be focused outwardly.

In terms of role, he views leadership as component of management and argue that leadership is what managers do to be effective. A person can be a leader not the manager. In certain situations, as in the work of team on highly technical project, the leader of the project may not be the most senior person in the team in terms of hierarchy. In terms of role, Martin argues that managers tend to be outward focused, while leader tend to be inward focused.

In terms of context, there are some organisations that place less emphasis upon management than leadership because management activities tend to be focused on routine procedures. On the other hand, leadership skills are necessary under conditions of change. In terms of what managers and leaders do, Leaders explore reality, taking in the relevant factors and analyzing all these factors carefully. On this basis they produce concepts, programs, visions and plans. Managers adopt the truth from others and then implement it.

In terms of situation, leaders tend to be more situation-specific. Whereas, managers are appointed in the organisation to a specific position and their job is defined by job description and contract, but different leaders may emerge at different times as the situation demands.

It could be argued that effective leaders need to be outward as well as inward-oriented. Spotting an opportunity in the market before everyone else fits the characteristics of a leader. Managers cannot only be concerned with the routine. Therefore, leadership is an essential ingredient of successful management.

True leaders are born with this ability not everyone can be an effective leader. A good leader can do the role of an effective manager. But leadership is complex, its not necessarily something that effective managers can learn. As trait theory approach described that people are born with inherited traits. Leaders should have as alert to environment, adaptability to situations, assertive, ambitious and achievement oriented, cooperative and dominant with desire to influence other, identified by Stogdil (1974). In addition, a leader should have certain skills such as being persuasive, diplomatic and tactful, conceptually and socially skilled. On the other hand, rational goal model believe that management is a rational and scientific process of moving an organisation and its employees towards some settled goal. Frederick Winslow Taylor (1947) was the chief exponent of it, whose work changed the way of organisations in the earlier part of the nineteenth century, more especially manufacturing operations, worked.

As like many management models, Taylorism was a product of his time. Henry Fayol’s contribution to the development of management lies in the creation of principles of management and in the identification of the basic management tasks. Henry identified the core management tasks as organizing, planning, commanding, controlling and coordinating. Henry Mintzberg classified ten managerial roles and he placed these roles in three calories such as informational roles, decisional roles and interpersonal roles. He argued that the combination of these rules are played by all the managers, although their importance varies with the level of manager in the hierarchy, the personality of the manager and the type of business. However, Fred Luthans (1983) argued that the problem with classification, such as those of Stewart and Mintzberg, is that they may add to our knowledge of what managers do and what role they play, but they offer little guide to managers themselves on the activities that may make the difference between success and failure. Managers’ performance is measured by Luthans in term of success and effectiveness.

He measured access and effectiveness; access in term of whether managers had been promoted and effectiveness in terms of teams’ level of satisfaction and their performance. He identified four types of activity such as traditional, communication, networking and management, especially outside the organisation and engaging in human resources management and organisational politics. According to him a successful managers, those that got promotion, spent most of their time as networkers and least of their time dealing with staff issues. On the other hand, effective managers spent most of their time communicating and engaging with staff. In conclusion, as clearly demonstrated above people have different argument about leadership and management and it is continuing.

As it is argued managers and leaders are different people. They differ in the way they think, the way they act, personal history and motivation. Leadership basics can be thought anyone but to be a good leader you need more mere knowledge because there is not any shortcut to be a leader. They also need ethics, character and the right values. In addition, leadership does not just require knowing the skills needed to be effective, it also requires tapping into ones innate abilities. In contrast, the management skills are very easy to acquire because they are based on real and logical situations and processes John (2001). People appreciate an effective manager as long as they have their job, but they tend to remember an effective leader in any case. Therefore, you don’t necessarily be a good manager to be an effective leader.


Buchanan, D. , 2010. Organisational Behaviour. Seventh Edition. UK : Pearson Education Ltd.

Needle, D., 2010. Business in context, fifth Edition. UK Thomson Learning. Robbins, S., 2010. Organisational Bhaviour. UK: Pearson Education Ltd.

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