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Do Managers need to be good Leaders in order to be successful?There is a distinct...

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hef20 | Student, College Freshman | eNoter

Posted May 18, 2012 at 2:30 PM via web

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Do Managers need to be good Leaders in order to be successful?

There is a distinct difference between managers and leaders, primarily through their contrasting attitudes towards aspects of business such as:

  • Change vs routine
  • Efficiency and waste
  • Details vs the big picture
  • Logic and rationality vs hunches and intuition
  • Dog-eat-dog business vs avoiding conflict at all costs

To what extent are these qualities mutually exclusive, and is it possible to combine them both to become a successful leader/manager hybrid?

I would argue that there has to be a separation between management and leadership as the above categories are simply too contrasting to compromise on.

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stolperia | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted May 18, 2012 at 3:45 PM (Answer #2)

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I would disagree with your proposal that management and leadership need to be separated.

While I understand your point that there are different approaches and viewpoints represented by the two roles, I think that a truly effective leader has to be capable of managing many aspects of the activities going on under his/her leadership. In the same way, I suspect that the most successful managers are also leaders involved along with those they are managing.

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hef20 | Student, College Freshman | eNoter

Posted May 18, 2012 at 3:59 PM (Answer #3)

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I would disagree with your proposal that management and leadership need to be separated.

While I understand your point that there are different approaches and viewpoints represented by the two roles, I think that a truly effective leader has to be capable of managing many aspects of the activities going on under his/her leadership. In the same way, I suspect that the most successful managers are also leaders involved along with those they are managing.

In large corporations, would you not see it as a hinderence if the leader tried to become involved as a 'manager' of the business? If they distance themselves, and appear as a 'god-like' figurehead they will be far more like effective in giving people more of an emotional direction.

A good example is Steve Jobs. I would argue that he was an inspiring leader, but he was most definately not a rational man with some of his business decisions. He just provided an idea and the general direction to the company, rather than addressing the question of 'how' the business opperates. He focussed far more on the 'why' aspect. It goes without saying that this technique built apple into the technological giant that it is today.

 

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rrteacher | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted May 18, 2012 at 6:14 PM (Answer #4)

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You may be correct if you're talking about a massive firm like Apple (to follow the example of Steve Jobs). I agree that providing vision and dealing with the day to day nuts and bolts of running such a massive entity may be two separate skill sets. But most businesses aren't that big, and the people in charge of them have to figure out how best to balance some of the apparently mutually exclusive aspects of leadership and management that you list.

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted May 18, 2012 at 7:09 PM (Answer #5)

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Yes, managers need to be good leaders.  Management is one of the biggest factors in a successful workplace.  Bad management or mismanagement leads to bad decisions and low morale.  Management made up of good leaders leads to employee satisfaction and high morale.  People do not like chaos in the workplace.  The boss has to be someone with vision, and someone that others are willing to follow.

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mwalter822 | Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted May 18, 2012 at 9:34 PM (Answer #6)

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By definition, managers "manage" something, which means they are striving to reach a goal of some sort. They aren't doing it by themselves, or they wouldn't be managing anything. If other people are involved in reaching a goal, then leadership is involved. Managers reach their goals by leading others.

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Lorraine Caplan | College Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted May 19, 2012 at 12:45 PM (Answer #7)

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Perhaps these skills should be thought of as a Venn diagram, with some differences, but with a considerable amount of overlap, too.  A manager manages resources, and people are resources that need to be managed, which implies some leadership, certainly.  To the degree they are different, the differences are largely situational, with our management or leadership skills evoked, we hope, in varying contexts, as needed. 

 

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wannam | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted May 19, 2012 at 7:43 PM (Answer #8)

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I think some of my best managers were good leaders.  It is certainly possible to strike a balance between many of the contrasting ideas you listed above.  As with most things, the ideas you shared exist on a type of sliding scale.  In the real world, these ideas aren't as black and white as they appear on paper.  For instance, the idea of efficiency is definitely a matter of opinion.  A good manager will lead his team to be more efficient without pushing them past their limit.  On  paper, it might seem that he could extract more from his group, but pushing a team past what they are willing to do is less efficient.  Training new employees is a huge waste of resources.  Time and money are much better spent in keeping current team members.  There are many situations where a good manager is also a good leader.

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dano7744 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted May 23, 2012 at 11:25 AM (Answer #9)

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I agree with number 6. To be an effective manager don't we also have to be a leader? I don't think you can manage people without being a leader. I think the two go hand in hand.

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