Leader or leadership - Sample Essay

In most organizations, leaders and managers have distinctly different roles. A manager will assume a broader set of functions. It is not necessarily to exclude managers from leadership, but management is not limited to leadership. As “the main aim of a manager is to maximise the output of the organisation through administrative implementation”, the managers need to engage in a set of activities including “organization, planning, staffing, directing, and controlling” (Blair, 1997). Leadership forms a part of the directing process.

However, a manager will also be engaged in other activities that may take time out of the leadership role. A manager needs to be more composed and less emotional than a leader. His role is to use authority wisely rather than gain authority through charisma or in other ways. A leader is someone who receives devoted followers no matter whether they are formally assigned to follow him or her. On the other hand, the manager has to make prudent use of the authority with which he or she has been entrusted.

Therefore, a manager does not necessarily have to be a leader at the same time. This distinction in the motivation of the followers makes all the difference between leadership and management. However, people do not always have to obey managers through pure authority. The ideal situation is when managers are also great leaders. Geisler (2004) states that “managers who lead, and leaders who aren’t managers, reach goals through influence”. Influence is by far a more effective incentive than pure subordination or discipline.

The two qualities are therefore not mutually exclusive, but serve to complement each other. An organization in order to succeed needs both managers and leaders, ideally combined in one personality, or represented by different people.


Blair, G. (1997). The Difference Between Management And Leadership. Retrieved November 11, 2006, from http://www. see. ed. ac. uk/~gerard/MENG/ME96/Documents/Intro/leader. html Geisler, J. (2004, March 22). Are You a Manager, a Leader, or Both? Retrieved November 11, 2006, from http://www. poynter. org/column. asp? id=34&aid=62579