to follow in the direction of influencing and coaching
them. Leadership focuses on challenging the current
norms and motivating employees. Followers, as intellectual capital, are trained to think about organizational issues in a more innovative and creative manner.
This intention cannot be achieved without developing trust-based relationships by which human assets
could share their knowledge and new ideas with others. So the question still arises that why is management and leadership so different. Henry Mintzberg,
an author and scholar in the area of management at
McGill University in Canada feels that they are not
so different and being a manager is being a leader.
Management emphasizes more operational objectives
rather than investigating strategic goals. Therefore,
management has been highlighted as an authority relationship to maintain the status quo through coordinating and controlling subordinate activities. This is
where scholars part ways.
Once the status quo is mentioned, it appears that
management is stagnant and overly consuming in nature. It is not, management and leadership are one and
the same and to be a good manager a person has to
also be a good leader. The following table summarizes
some distinctions between leadership and management
that have been posited by scholars over the past ten
years or so by very prominent academics. The table indicates a dichotomy of management and leadership but
anyone can see that being both is much more important
than being simply one or the other.
• Doing the Right Things
• Taking a Proactive Approach
• Having a Long-Term Perspective
• Enhancing Trust
• Focusing on People
• Challenging Norms
• Doing Things Right
• Taking a Reactive Approach
• Having a Short-Term Perspective
• Controlling Subordinates
• Performing Functions
• Focusing on Structure
• Maintaining the Status Quo
The table above is important to show the highlights
of leadership versus management but there are times
when everything in the table on both sides are important functions of managers. Furthermore Burns
(1978) concluded that leadership is one of the most
observed and least understood phenomena on earth.
There is no comprehensive definition that encompasses all of the leadership aspects.
Although the current definitions on the concept
of leadership and management are somewhat different, these idealized definitions provide various
viewpoints about leadership that could positively
contribute to define the concept of leadership. Let us
now define this thing called leadership as influenced
interactions with groups of followers to implement
changes and achieve the determined goals. That definition sounds a lot like management and it should because as mentioned earlier, leadership is a function of
management. This controversy among academics has
taken on new form. Scholars are experts in management and leadership but very few take pride in being
scholars of both except for Fayol who would fall into
the category of a management historian.
The true basis of leadership was built upon a model
that generated two sides of an X and Y axis. On one
side is the concept of leadership that creates change
through taking a process-oriented and the other as
more of a relationship-oriented approach. When thinking of leadership and politics, a leader has to be a politician but a politician does not always have to be a
leader. Similarly, based upon the management versus
leadership idea, a manager always has to be a leader
but a leader does not always have to be a manager.
Mostafa Sayyadi is a senior business consultant in Australia.
In recognition of his work with Australian Institute of Management and Australian Human Resources Institute, he has been
awarded the titles, “Associate Fellow of the Australian Institute
of Management” (AFAIM), “Certified Professional Manager” (
CP-Mgr) and “Certified Professional in Human Resources” (CAHRI).