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Leadership Sample Paper

Question

Organizations refer to their upper managers and their board as the leadership team. They both influence employees and direct work, but are they all leaders? Write a paper addressing these questions:
1. What is it that leaders and managers do? 2. Can leaders and managers be one and the same? 3. Just because a person is a manager does that make them a leader?
At least one reference needs to come from Yukl, G (2010) Leadership in Organizations

Title: Leaders and Managers

In every organization, upper managers and management boards have a great influence on the activities of employees. However, not of these upper managers and board members are true leaders. Leadership is slightly different from management. There is a difference between business leaders and business managers. Although some leaders act as managers and some managers perform leadership rows, in most cases, managers and leaders are cut out from completely different cloth altogether. In the day-to-day running of the business, it is difficult to notice the difference between managers and leaders.

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In some of the most properly managed companies, there are many business leadership lessons to be learned. In such companies, the main goal of mid- and upper-level business managers tends to be preserving and safeguarding the current system as well as ensuring that things remain as they are for as long as possible. For business leaders, the aims ought to be completely different.

Business leadership entails the development of new systems and visions of seeing things in new perspectives, things that go beyond the status quo. The quality of being a leader entails the ability to take calculated risks. Most business managers, though, only aim at preserving the status quo.

Leaders are able to stay away from their comfort zones for as long as possible (Hickman, 1988). They are always on the lookout for better ways of doing things. This type of thinking generates dynamic teams with the ability to accomplish goals that put the company’s future in a sharp perspective. Leaders are always able to inspire and handle different layers of management within organizations. They are always able to push non-performers aside while rewarding the best producers. Business leaders understand the power of self-motivation and self-management. They understand the need for all people to be empowered in order to deliver amazing business results.

Managers have employees while leaders have followers. Managers only maintain control and command. Sometimes, they do this excessively, thereby robbing employees of inspiration. Leaders, on the other hand, always inspire and empower their followers. They are never in search of stability, all they want is flexibility.

Leaders always set the pace by inspiring followers to create solutions to their own problems and to make the right decisions under their circumstances. They teach their followers on how to be effective leaders in their own right in order to better themselves and the people who depend on them. Managers, on the other hand, are always making decisions, giving orders and solving problems as they keep arising. Whereas a manager accepts the culture and structural make-up of the organization as it is, a leader does not see anything wrong with restructuring the whole system. In sharp contrast, a manager works hard in order to cement the existing structural framework.

            It is possible for business managers to have leadership qualities (Eustera, 1984). In order for an organization to end up with business leaders, it needs to go beyond the recruitment of only those people with merely the fundamental management skills. They should be people with a strong character, people who have above-average leadership qualities on top of all other requisite management skills. The real challenge lies in determining where to find such people.

Effective leaders share many attributes and characteristics. Leaders always have a vision and they are able to communicate this vision to their followers (Yukl, 2010). Effective communication of a vision is as important as the vision itself. They also have a high sense of integrity and are always more concerned about how to do the right rights instead of what is expedient. Any leader who has followers must know how to have integrity in a consistent way.

Business leaders appreciate the fact that trust is a mutual attribute, whereby one gives as much as he takes from others. In order to earn the employees’ trust, effective leaders have to trust themselves and the people they lead (Kotter, 1988). Leaders have an amazing way of letting all those around them realize and feel the level of commitment that they hold towards each employee as well as the entire organization. This sense of commitment comes out as a show of loyalty to all stakeholders within the company.

Managers can be differentiated from leaders in the sense that managers tend to be unwilling to lead. They feel extremely uncomfortable when circumstances require them to make tough, unpopular decisions. Instead, they prefer to follow options that guarantee them the least resistance. Sometimes, this arises from the inability of the manager to act as a leader. At other times, it arises because the manager is being managed by a higher authority, who is himself not an effective business leader.

In conclusion, business leaders and managers should assess the types of leadership qualities that they exhibit in their current positions. In most cases, the level of a company’s performance is a reflection of the leadership qualities of the people who are in the top managerial positions. Such people should take stock of their leadership qualities and determine whether they killing the motivation of employees or inspiring them. They should also assess whether they have a high sense of integrity and whether they are able to respond to the emotional needs of every individual employee. This information can be of great help in improving the leadership qualities of a business manager.

References

Eustera, J. (1984) Leaders and Managers: Literature Review, Synthesis, and a New Conceptual Framework, Journal of Library Administration, 5(1), 45 – 61.

Hickman, G. (1988) Leading organizations: perspectives for a new era, Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.

Kotter, J. (1988) What Leaders Really Do, TheBottom Line: Managing Library Finances, 13(1), 161-182

Yukl, G (2010) Leadership in Organizations, London: Macmillan.

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