Leading as a Manager or as a Leader

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The Plucknette article suggests that there are considerable differences between being a leader and being a manager. Is it possible or desirable to be both?

In many workplaces, there are leaders and managers. There are apparent differences between leaders and managers. In most cases, the managers might act like leaders, but unfortunately for some strange reasons, there are very few managers who are leaders. Firstly, leaders are visionaries while managers are administrators. Leaders have visions for their team. They work extra hard to ensure they produce the best out of the best from the competition. They come up with ways to improve the current situation, and are always engaged with the workers. However, managers being administrators they administer the goals and directions of their boss. Managers will focus on their personal goals and be controlling the costs of the businesses. Managers often lack the knowledge of the products that are produced or even the responsibilities of workers who do not report directly to them (Balogun & Johnson, 2014).

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More so, leaders motivate their workers while manager oversees and regulate. Leaders know the worth of motivation, they demonstrate good behavior and give credit where it is due. They understand the power of motivation and how it inspires workers to put more effort. Leaders will engage in conversations and will always listen to the workers for innovations. Managers will only focus on results and how the workers did their duties and if they had overtime or not (Balogun & Johnson, 2014).

Lastly, the leaders are open for debates while managers provide instructions and expect compliance. Leaders love when the fellow workmates challenge them, they are open for any debate since it allows for an opportunity to teach and learn new things from each other. Nevertheless, managers will only give instruction and will make sure they are followed to the later. They always view any challenge from the public as a threat to them or insubordinate behavior. It is better to be a leader than a manager since a leader is always interactive with the workers and provide an adequate environment for working rather than being like a boss to the workers and being the one with the final say. In other circumstances, it is desirable to be both a leader and a manager although very few people like this are found.

Chapter 2 of the Management textbook suggests that the four functions of management are planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. Provide one challenge posed by serving as a leader and one challenge posed by serving as a manager in each of these functions?

When serving as a leader, one faces a challenge during planning such as maintaining the company’s morale. It might be difficult due to the fact that the leader uses a lot of time trying to make the company a better place, but also, he or she misses the point on developing the morale of the company towards a specific direction. Leaders also, face challenges in organizing such as developing managerial effectiveness which includes time management, prioritization, and also developing relevant skills. They face a challenge in controlling which is developing of employees including monitoring and coaching the employees. During leading they face a big problem on how to improve a team, how to support them and how to build and motivate the team (Drucker, 2016).

Managers also face challenges during planning such that they need to figure out which goals need to be designed within their jurisdictions. During organizing, managers face a challenge on how to determine the distribution of resources and organizing the employees. Managers face a problem during controlling on how they will assure the goals are attained and comparing the achievements against the targets. Lastly, during leading managers have a hard task they face the challenge of how to connect with the employees, how to be actively engaged even at a personal level with the employees (Ashkanasy & Daus, 2012).

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  1. Ashkanasy, M., & Daus, S. (2012). Emotion in the workplace: The new challenge for managers. The Academy of Management Executive, 16(1), 76-86.
  2. Balogun, J. & Johnson, G. (2014). Organizational restructuring and middle manager sense making. Academy of management journal,523-549.
  3. Drucker, F. (2016). Management challenges for the 21st century. Routledge.
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