Management and Leadership

According to Michael Maccoby (2000), “Management is a function that must be exercised in any business, leadership is a relationship between leader and led that can energize an organization.” Managers perform specific duties in their place of employment: their functions are clearly defined and their goals explicit. Leaders, on the other hand, often act more as visionaries. As such, their tasks are not always clearly defined. Leaders are called upon to inspire people in times of discontent or to motivate groups or individuals to change. Although many leaders are excellent managers and many managers make good leaders, some people excel at one over the other. The roles of leaders and of managers in an organization differ and therefore, the two terms deserve to be considered separately.

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Both managers and leaders require a high level of emotional intelligence and interpersonal skills. However, managers work more directly with individual employees to , to , or to fulfill other specific long — and short-term goals. Leaders, on the other hand, may work alone as well as in group settings. The goals of a leader are usually more abstract than those of the manager, although a solid leader will and direction.

Both leaders and managers have a responsibility to uphold the mission and goals of their organizations. In some ways, leaders have more chances to shape and change the culture of their organization than managers do. and uphold their organizational cultures: they are “deeply tied to their organization’s culture,” (“Leading vs. Managing,” 2001). Leaders, while committed to their organization’s values, work actively to shape organizational culture and when necessary, stimulate interest in change. Managers perform highly specific and ; their roles are clearly defined. Leaders emerge in a more informal process. Although “team leaders” become formal designees, many leaders emerge via social consensus and opportunity rather than through formal role designation.

However, leaders and managers alike are responsible for creating and maintaining a healthy organizational culture. Managers assume duties related to planning, organization, and in some cases discipline. A manager’s duty is not to be liked but to be effective; a manager remains firmly committed to the health of his or her organization by following rules, regulations, and guidelines. “A leader is someone who people naturally follow through their own choice, whereas a manager must be obeyed,” (“The Difference between Management and Leadership,” 1997). Effective managers and leaders both motivate and inspire people to reach their highest potential.

In order for a manager to create and maintain a healthy organizational culture, he or she should develop strong interpersonal awareness, including mediation skills and respect for diversity. As a director of development at a private Catholic high school, I work in a stimulating environment that requires ascription to rational and financial goals as well as to spiritual, ideological, and interpersonal goals. With a diverse student body and a diverse staff, I must retain a strong emotional as well as purely rational intelligence when making important decisions.

Second, although management is often a thankless position that depends largely on rational ascription to company regulations, solid managers can also make good leaders. Leaders, whether managers or not, should take care not to become overly egotistical. I have witnessed many potentially good leaders become more concerned about their own opinions and ideas than about the needs of the group or organization as a whole. In order to maintain a healthy organizational culture, leaders need to keep their personal ambitions in check and remain devoted to the mission of their group. This is especially relevant in organizations such as ours, which remains dedicated to the collective development of the students and staff.


The Difference between Management and Leadership.” (1997). Retrieved August 20, 2005 online at

Leading vs. Managing — They’re Two Different Animals.” (2001). Online Women’s Business Center. Retrieved August 20, 2005 online at

Maccoby, Michael (2000). “Understanding the Difference between Management and Leadership.” Research Technology Management. Volume 43. No. 1. January-February, 2000. pp 57-59. Retrieved August 20, 2005 online at