Sample Essay on Difference between Management and Leadership

Differences between Management and Leadership

Management is described as the set of processes employed in organizations to keep them functioning. The processes include; staffing, directing, controlling, and problem solving, and measuring performance among many others (Elearn, 2007). Leadership, however, is distinctive, as it can be described as the ability to align people towards a vision, and this can be through effective communication, motivation and inspiration. The roles of managers and leaders are almost similar, but they are differentiated by the way they treat people that work or follow them. It can be on the tone or motivation they use to make them perform the expected tasks. All managers can be leaders, but not all leaders can be managers (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute).

Managers are people that occupy senior positions in groups and firms. Their positions are filled considering seniority, and they have formal authority that they exercise over their juniors. Managers are authoritarian by the virtue of the power vested in them by an organization. For a manager, they have power to command their subordinates to perform tasks (Elearn, 2007). The juniors are able to perform their duties because of the reward they expect, and this can be a salary or job security. A manager plays their roles and duties also because they are rewarded to do it and not on a voluntary basis like a leader. The managers are subordinate to, and they work under various constraints, which might be financial or time.

On the other hand, leaders have followers and not subordinates. For one to lead, they must have followers because of their personal attributes such as charisma. However, many organizations have leaders who have subordinates because they are managers. The difference is when it comes time to lead whereby they do not use their formal authority to control their juniors because the subordinates follow them voluntarily; reason being that leaders have charisma that makes them appealing to people (Linköping University).

Charismatic leaders find it easier to make people follow them as opposed to commanding them. Leaders have a managed personality with people, and despite them being appealing, they have boundaries on how much their lives are into the public. Though they appreciate others and give credit, where due, they also take blames when there is need. This quiet lifestyle helps them to have a stable relationship with people, maintaining their loyalty. However, it does not mean that leaders do not pay attention to tasks since they do so, and with much focus on achievements (Australian National University).

Leaders are natural risk takers and always take challenging paths that have been avoided by many in performing their tasks. It is believed that challenges might be the drive that inspires them to take up the leadership roles. Also in most cases, managers are appointed in regard to their academic skills and achievements while for leaders it is not a requirement or mandatory to have academic merits (Leadership Is Different to Management (Stellar). Leaders can emerge from a simple group once their ability is noticed


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Elearn,. (2007). Leadership and Management in Organisations: Management Extra. Taylor & Francis.

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Linköping University‖Leadership vs Management

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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute‖Leader vs. Manager: What’s the Distinction?

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