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Management And Leadership

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Autor:  anton  20 November 2010
Tags:  Management,  Leadership
Words: 1108   |   Pages: 5
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Management and Leadership

Some might argue that there is not much difference between management and leadership. While a good manager can also be a good leader and visa versa, this does not always hold true. “A leader is someone who people naturally follow through their own choice, whereas a manager must be obeyed. A manager may only have obtained his position of authority through time and loyalty given to the company, not as a result of his leadership qualities. A leader may have no organizational skills, but his vision unites people behind him.”(1) I believe an individual can go to school, get a good education and can be taught to be a good manager, but there is more to being a good leader. Being a leader, I believe, is an inherent attribute that one either has or does not have. Now, I realize there are leadership training courses and classes that try to mold individuals into leaders, but without the built-in leadership quality, these courses and classes will just make an individual seem like a scripted manager who have been to a leadership class. If you are already a leader, these same course and classes can certainly help you sharpen your leadership skills. “Manager think incrementally, whilst leader think radically.”(2)

Managers, just as their title says, manage. They are responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of their particular department. Managers are in charge of pushing down directives from upper management or possible even the leader of the company. While managers from time to time may try to motivate their employees, they do so as a way to accomplish daily goals or objectives. Actually, they are not in charge of the overall direction or future of the company as a hole. What managers are in charge of is ensuring the road that the company travels on is a smooth as possible. They hire and fire employees, ensure the proper staff is scheduled to handle daily operations and, for a lack of better word, baby-sit the work group. Managers are also the first line of contact when issues arise that concern their employees. When employees have issues, most companies prefer for them to speak to their manager first to find a resolution. On the other hand, if upper management has an issue with employees, they will usually go through the managers for a resolution.

As for leadership, it is more of a following, a person’s ability to motivate and inspire their employees. A manager may work for a company for 15 years be very dedicated and for that he/she are promoted to a management position. In that management position their employees must, to a certain degree, follow their directives, whereas leaders are inspirational and people, employees and work groups choose to follow them. Manager, to be effective, must be well organized and efficient being very mindful of company policies and procedures. Leaders, on the other hand, are more of a lose type of individual with tremendous ability to influence and give his or her company a since of direction.

Leaders of today’s companies are given the roles and responsibilities of creating; as well as maintaining a healthy organizational work environment. All leaders’ have outstanding speaking ability in which they use to “fire up” their troops and give them a reason for serving. After hearing the speeches of many good leaders such as, Martin Luther King, Herb Kelleher and even my on CEO Larry Kellner, you will have chills down your spin and some how the speaker empowers you to accomplish task you others wise would not fulfill. Leaders create a certain “buzz” within their followers or employees; people look up to them, want to be around them and maybe in some cases want to be like them. Leaders are to lead the way; they are in charge of their company’s future and the road map that will get them there. He or she must keep everyone focused, inspired and fired up to ensure the companies success.

Being with Continental Airlines for over six years, I have seen a few terrific ways our CEO’s have created and maintained a healthy organizational culture. First, they make everyone feel as though he or she are as important to the company as them. No one wants to listen to or even follow a self centered COE with a huge ego. Herb and Larry both are exceptional at doing just that. I have been to numerous CEO exchanges with both Southwest and Continental Airlines and no matter what both of the leaders always find a way to give most of the company’s successes to the employees. Secondly, it is very important to give employees more a reason to come to work other than their paychecks. Leaders must empower their employees, define where there are possible issues within your company and let your employees deal with them and again showering them with all the credit and even bonuses when the issue is resolved. Lastly, here at Continental, there is bonuses set-up for employees that do not call in sick and help the airline with better on-time arrivals. Employees that have perfect attendance for a quarter are entered into a drawing for a Ford Explorer and if Continental achieves a top three ranking in on-time arrivals every employee receive a one hundred dollar bonus check. So, in creating and maintaining a healthy and productive organizational culture a leader must challenge and reward employees while handing out credit where credit is due. A leader should design responsibilities that engage a person’s competence and values. Responsibilities are motivating when they stretch people and are meaningful to them. Responsibilities can engage such intrinsic motivations as exercising one’s abilities, creating something new, helping others and providing value to customers. Which of these meanings is most motivating depends on an individual's personality. (3)

In closing, management is a very important and crucial aspect of every company. Without a well-organized managerial structure any company would find it very difficult to compete in today’s marketplace. Leaders in a company provide focus and a destination, giving employees a purpose and drive. It would be very difficult to say that one is more important than the other, for a company to provide growth for it’s employees and shareholders it is imperative they have both. Whether the company has both a leader and good manager in one individual or has to have separate individual for each role, it is an absolute must for the future of the company that the roles are filled one way or another.


(1) The Leader Is Followed. The Manager Rules

(2) Differences In Perspectives

(3) Research Technology Management; Volume 43. No. 1. January-February, 2000. pp 57-59. by Michael Maccoby

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