Leadership is a topic that has always aroused debate and interest from time immemorial especially as it applies to its understanding alongside the concept of management.
According to Yukl (2010), leadership can easily be understood as the act of influencing others to understand and agree on what is to be done, how it is to be done and ensuring a collective efforts to accomplishing common objectives. On the other hand, Management is understood as exercising executive, administrative, and supervisory direction of a group or organization (Kristina, 2009). The processes involved in this are budgeting, planning, staffing, performance and problem solving to mention but a few.
DIFFERENCES AND SIMILARITIES BETWEEN MANAGEMENT AND LEADERSHIP
Management and leadership have many things in common. Both of them for instance involves working with people and working with thunderstae intent of achieving specific goals. However, leadership is about aligning people to the vision through proper communication, motivation and inspiration (Rebecca, 2013). By implication therefore, communication and understangnding between leaders and subordinates becomes a necessary condition for effective leadership to take place. In addition, this understanding is also in harmony with the view of Mullins (2010) who sees leadership as a “two way process that influences the individual on the one hand and the organisation on the other.Management can be said to be the most effective in managing the works of subordinates. However in our contemporary business world today, the role played by leadership cannot be relegated to the background. Hence, management and leadership must go together for any organisation to be successful and attain its set goals.
(CMI) POINT OF VIEW OF THE MOST EFFECTIVE APPROACH TO LEAD
The complex nature of the business world and the consequent challenge of adequate leadership and management methods to direct the affairs of organisations, have led to the rise of a variety of leadership styles. These theories can however be grouped into three major styles namely the autocratic style (mostly in hierarchical organization’s structures) of leadership where power and authority lies solely with the leader; the democratic style where power and authority is distributed among individuals as against a sole leader; and the laissez-faire style where individuals are left to work on their own while the leader out rightly plays the role of an observer (Mullins, 2010). According to the Chattered management institute (CMI 2014), of the aforementioned styles of leadership, not a single one can be recommended as the ideal due to the variance situations and in the characteristics of individuals. As a matter of fact, the choice of leadership style is mostly influenced by other factors such as the situation an organization finds itself.
I strongly agree with the assertion of CMI (2014) as expressed above. This is because the nature and vision of an organization is the determinant factor for its choice of leadership style. In organizations that thrive on innovation and employee participation for instance, applying the democratic style of leadership (consultative and participative approaches) would be much more effective because in this style of leadership employees have a greater say in policy and decision making (Mullins 2010). On the other hand, organizations whose activities involves a great deal of directions and standards (Such as financial institutions) or organizations who find themselves in crises situations will function better with an approach that is control and command prone.
From the above, a good example of a leader (within the context of Human resource management) that will fit my idea of how I want to be led is Larry Page the co-founder and first CEO of Google who is known to have created a working atmosphere that empowers employees and encourages them to come up with innovative ideas and implement them. According to Google chief culture office Stacy Savides Sullivan, the success of Google is attributed to its core values of maintaining “a flat organization, a lack of hierarchy and a collaborative environment” (Emilie, 2012). Page was able to manage his subordinates because he created an atmosphere where no idea was seen as insignificant.
Carlos Ghosn (the CEO of Nissan) is also known for his great achievements with the company which has been largely attributed to a focus on sharing ideas with employees and fostering an interactive and communicative environment as a form of feedback from employees which boosted the performance of employees and that of the company at large. As a leader, Goshen was able to manage his subordinates through his embrace of cultural differences and consistent encouragement of communication because of his belief that subordinates must be able to communicate freely and express their ideas before their superiors.
In conclusion, the operation and overall direction of a business is greatly influenced by the way a leader/manager chooses to lead. Because no single leadership style fits every situation (CMI 2013), Irrespective of the management approach of an organisation, managers/leaders can use various leadership styles to address different situations within their organisation so as to bring about efficiency and effectiveness (George, 2014).
Centre of Management Research (2003) The Turnaround Specialist [online] available from <http://www.icmrindia.org/casestudies/catalogue/Leadership%20and%20Entrepreneurship/Carlos%20Ghosn-The%20Turnaround%20Specialist-Leadership%20and%20Entrepreneurship-Case%20StudiesExcp.htm [1 September 2014]
Emilie D (2012) How Fortune 100 Companies are Flattening Hierarchies Through Enterprise Social [online] available from <http://www.tibbr.com/blog/topics/enterprise-social-network-topics/why-are-leading-organizations-turning-to-a-flatter-organizational-hierarchy/> [30 August 2104]
George L., (2014) Democratic vs. Transformational Leadership Style [online] available from <http://smallbusiness.chron.com/democratic-vs-transformational-leadership-style-17757.html> [30 August 2104]
Laurie J. Mullins (2010) Management and Organisational Behaviour 9th edn. Pearson Limited
Mullins, L.J. (2010), Management and Organisational Behaviour, 9th Edition, Harlow: Pearson Higher Education
Yukl, G. A. (2010) Leadership in Organizations, 7th edn. Harlow: Pearson Education (u
Rebecca R. (2013) What’s the difference between leadership and management? Available at <http://careers.theguardian.com/difference-between-leadership-management > [1 September 2014]Mullins, L.J. (2010), Management and Organisational Behaviour, 9th Edition, Harlow: Pearson Higher Education