All Good Managers are Good Leaders
?A leader is a person who leads individuals towards achieving a specific goal. A good leader goes first and leads by example so that those around him can feel motivated to follow him. Leaders to attain their set goals set a direction, align people, motivate and inspire (Cardwell 2003, p285). A manager is one who is in charge of a particular set of tasks, a part of a company. A manager achieves the goals of the organization through planning, organizing, problem-solving, and controlling (Cardwell 2003, p286). I strongly disagree with the claim that all good managers are good leaders. Good managers can be bad leaders just as good leaders can be bad managers. Good managers and good leaders have different personality traits and operate on a different set of skills to achieve success in their set goals.
?Unlike a manager, a leader must not always have a title. An individual can be given a management job and be raised through the management positions, but that does not guarantee that the individual is a good leader. Leadership, unlike management, does not come from the top; instead, it has to be earned from individuals’ around. In an article by Kotter (2013), he explained that calling people at the very top of hierarchy leaders and those below them managers while all the rest are workers is wrong and that individuals who are managers are not always leaders. He said that management is crucial in businesses, but it is not leadership. Kotter (2007) in his article What Leaders Really Do wrote that excellent leader and good managers are influenced by different systems of actions and therefore good managers and not always good leaders and vice-versa.
?Good managers could choose poor leadership styles and therefore become bad leaders. Some poor leadership styles are such as authoritarian leadership. When good managers with effective management designs choose poor leadership designs, it could affect negatively how the set goals are achieved. The summary of the book Maslow on Management clearly explains that some good managers choose authoritarian leadership style and therefore fall out with the workers. It states that the ultimate authoritarian can identify with nobody not even with his blood. It further explains that good managers mainly choose a strictly authoritarian leadership style to a more participative style and consider this as the weakness of many managers. On the other hand, leaders engage their followers in the decision making the process as well as try to influence their change so they can work towards achieving the set goals (Maslow 1998). The book further says authoritarian managers may be converted or re-trained by it would require some time.
Good leaders are vision oriented whereas good managers are goal oriented. Many good managers focus on the immediate goals of a firm at that given time while good leaders are always centered on the future more than what they achieve at the given moment. The book Maslow on Management explains that even if good managers want the company to remain for many years, they most at times forget about the far goals of the company and focus on the immediate goals which are to make a profit, be a healthy organism, and have some insurance for the future (Maslow 1998). This explains that not all good managers are good leaders because good leaders are always visionary and assess future goals and stick to them despite the present conditions.
?Characteristics of a good manager vary with those of a good leader. While a good manager has the mind, rational and persistence, a good leader ought to be flexible, innovative, courageous and independent. Good leaders should align people with visions through good communication, inspiration, and motivation whereas good managers run a set of processes to keep the business going in the right direction. In the article by Lunenburg (2011, p.2), Churchill is quoted to be an example of a good leader but not a manager. A paper presented at the annual meeting of American Education Research distinguished that when good leaders are confident and always looks for talents in those around him, good managers are a bit negative and criticize their employees to bring out the best in them but not demoralize them (Kotter 2000).
?Good managers are far different from good leaders because for one to be a good manager, they require to be good coaches. A good coach can get duties done through other individuals. Good managers should understand the individual’s strengths and weaknesses and create a conducive environment for all the workers so that they reap the most from all individuals (Lunenburg 2011, p.2). On the other hand, good leaders should have the ability to influence other people and make them desire to work towards the set goals. While good managers through coaching do not need to change people, good leaders engage in changing people so that they move in the same direction. Good leaders also create opportunities and conducive environments for success. Kotter (2000) concurs that good managers are involved in controlling and problem-solving as, well as reducing uncertainty and stabilizing their firms, unlike good leaders who engage in creating uncertainty and changes for the companies.
?Although some good managers are good leaders as well, this is not always the case. A good manager always embraces processes, look for stability and control and always try to solve problems as quick as possible. In contrast, good leaders tolerate chaos and lack of structure and sometimes delay closure to dig deeper into issues (Lunenburg 2011, p.3). Bennis noted that while good leaders conquer the volatile, turbulent and ambiguous situations, good managers tend to surrender to them (Bennis & Nanus 2007). Recently he stated that good managers do things right while good leaders do the right things. Even though most firms try to balance good managers and ethical leadership, they find themselves leaning on either good leadership of good management profiles.
?A good manager is not always good leaders as most good manager, and good leaders have different attitudes towards goals. Managers adopt impersonal and passive perceptions towards goals. Managerial purposes result from necessities and not desires and are mostly embedded in their firm’s cultural behavior and history. On the other hand, good leaders when thinking about goals are active and shape their ideas. In the article Managers and Leaders: Are They Different? Fredrick G. Donner who was General Motors manager from 1958 to 1967 is an example of a good manager is not a good leader. He has a managerial attitude towards goals. In his statement, he said that for the firm to meet the challenge in the marketplace, they must recognize the changes in customer needs and desires. He said the company must balance trends in preference against the compromises to make a good and reliable product which will seek at a competitive price (Zaleznik 1992). He further explained that the firm must design more than the cars they want to build but also the vehicles that the customers would want to buy. However good leaders identify that through developing a good product, advertising, and promotion, clients learn to like the products they see. Zaleznik (2004, p.174) also presents Edwin Land’s good leadership traits. He observed that people were taking photos and gaining pleasure from them. He came up with an idea and changed the technology of polarization of light to the Polaroid camera. The camera stimulated the desires of the customers and succeeded in the market.
?Good managers are most likely not always good leaders as they operate in different directions. Good managers should consistently coordinate and balance opposing views in their firms. Good managers have a motive of always shifting balances of power towards acceptable solutions and compromise conflicting values. On the contrast, good leaders must be open with their ideas onto things that excite people and make choices by giving those things substance (Weathersby 1999, p.5). While good managers perform to minimize choices, good leaders come up with fresh solutions to long-standing problems and open issues to new options.
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All Good Managers are Good Leaders