668207_signLeadership, in many ways, is very similar to management. Leadership, like management requires influence, working with people, and a concern with effective goal accomplishment. But leadership differs to management:

“Kotter (1990) argues that the functions of the two are quite dissimilar. The overriding function of management is to provide order and consistency to organizations, whereas the primary function of leadership is to produce change and movement. Management is about seeking order and stability; leadership is about seeking adaptive and constructive change.”

One way that management differs to leadership in regards to planning and budgeting is that management’s emphasis is on “establishing detailed agendas, setting timetables from several months to a few years, and allocating the necessary resources to meet organisational objectives. Leadership, on the other hand, emphasises on direction setting, clarifying the big picture, building a vision that is often long term, and setting strategy to create needed organisational changes.”

A second way that management differs from leadership is that in organizing staffing. “Management focuses on providing structure to the work of individuals, their relationships in the organization, and the physical context in which they work. This includes placing people in the right jobs, and developing rules and procedures for how work is to be performed. For Leadership, organizing staffing take the form of communicating a vision to employees, invoking their commitment, and working with them to build teams and coalitions useful in fulfilling the organization’s mission.”

Thirdly, “for the activities of controlling and problem solving, the focus of management is on developing incentive systems to motivate the workforce, problem solving, monitoring progress toward performance objectives, and taking corrective action when performance is off track. In contrast… leadership emphasises motivating and inspiring individuals, empowering them, and energizing them to satisfy their unmet needs.”

Many other scholars, in addition to Kotter, who have argued that leadership and management are distinct constructs (Bennis & Nanus, 1985; Bryman, 1992; Kickman, 1990; Peters & Austin, 1985). Zalenick (1977) takes this idea further by arguing that leaders and managers themselves are distinct- they are basically different types of people:

“He contends that managers are reactive and prefer to work with people to solve problems but do so with low emotional involvement. They act to limit choices. Zalenick suggest that leaders… are emotionally active and involved. They seek to shape ideas instead of responding to them, and act to expand the available options to longstanding problems. Leaders change the way people think about what is possible.”

There is no doubt that there are differences between leadership and management. But there is also a considerable amount of overlap. Simply put, “when managers are involved in influencing a group to meet its goals they are involved in leadership. When leaders are involved in planning, organizing, staffing, and controlling, they are involved in management. Both processes involve influencing a group of individuals toward goal attainment.”

Much of the material in this article is from “Leadership… Theory and Practice” by Peter G. Northhouse (Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, London, pg 4-10).

Stay tuned, next week we will be looking an example of leadership…

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About Apo Malo

Apo is an active part of the ministries of his church where his heart for people is clearly evident. Apo has a degree in theology and is also an accomplished musician maintaining a part time teaching studio. Apo works as a carer for Anglicare and lives in Sydney, Australia.

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