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The Distinction Between Leaders And Managers

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Introduction: Jesus Christ, Martin Luther King Jr., and Margaret Thatcher are among those who have received the distinction of a "great leader" and having "leadership abilities". Yet none of them has been referred to as a "manager" or being in "the order of management". In the words of Warren B. Bennis, this is because "Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality", which these visionaries accomplished. In this respect, the concept of leadership and management are not synonymous, especially in regards to business. This paper will attempt to define the fine line between leadership and management in business. It will explore three types of leadership styles as discussed in the "Leadership Journey" by Schaeffer 2002, highlight the attributes of a good leader and identify the communication skills required to succeed as a leader.

Leadership versus Management: Leadership and management are often perceived to be the same in organizations, but they are distinct processes in an organization's dynamics. Michael Maccoby defined "management as a function that must be exercised in any business and leadership as a relationship between leader and the led that can energize an organization" . Another way to view leadership and management can be seen in Peter Coutts' article to the clergy at St Andrew's Presbyterian Church. He cites Bernard Bass who says that "'leaders manage and managers lead, but the two activities are not synonymous. Management functions can potentially provide leadership; leadership activities can contribute to managing. Nevertheless, some managers do not lead, and some leaders do not manage" .

Leadership Styles:

In his article "The Leadership Journey" Leonard Schaeffer (2002) identifies three styles of leadership and how they relate to management. At the beginning of Schaeffer's career with Blue Cross of California, he had to assume the role of an autocratic leader. Where the top down approach was required, there was a need to revive the company from financial disaster. This is the most difficult style of leadership as it causes a lot of tension and antagonism within the organization. It involves assuming personal responsibility, acting promptly and staying focused on the mission to be achieved.

The next stage, introduces the participative leader, whose role is to ensure the organization's long term success. At this point Schaeffer's goal was to steer Blue Cross California towards becoming an industry leader. He did not have to be involved in the company's short term decision making. He informed his managers of the long term plans and allowed them come up with the procedures to achieve these goals. This style adopts a tight-loose management approach. Once the strategic goal has been set, the managers have free rein on how to achieve the goal (loose), but the strategic goal must be achieved (tightness). This method recognizes the fact that line mangers deal with the day to day running of the organization and "that by adhering to the budget and established strategies, these managers can uncover business opportunities that senior leaders cannot see" .

Finally, Schaeffer introduces us to the Reformer's leadership style. The reformer is concerned with influencing the external environment of the organization. According to Schaeffer "The reformer defies convention and stubbornly tries to make the world a better place". He demonstrates this style of leadership by his personal quest to change how society viewed the managed care

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