The Strategy Process - Sample Essay
In contrast to management, one can give his own explanation of the word leadership. Since leadership is not a specified science one can define the term according to his own personal criteria, beliefs and judgment. But not all people can be influenced at the same extend, or from the same occasions or even from the same special characteristics of a leader. So I find it difficult to compare and discuss the differences of a rather general idea to something specific and granted as the science of management. For this reason in order to make the discussion I take as granted several cases where the leading figure can be identified from the majority. For instance a successful manager who just saved his company from bankruptcy, or a person who has the ability to motivate and influence some of his colleagues or subordinates, or finally someone who has managed to create a world leading company.
Management is a science. It is about control and making things happen through others. Its targets and objectives are very specific towards the organizations prosperity, the satisfaction of it’s customers and the well being of it employees. In order to make the concept of my discussion clearer and easier to understand I would like to divide my conclusions in 3 small sub-units. 1.A clarification of the relationship between them When I first started thinking about the assignment I had in my mind a linear relationship of those two.
In a way that leadership is often the continuity of management. After reading a number of very interesting thoughts and ideas I concluded that the way these two react to each other is more like, managerial skills being the circle and leadership being its centre. Leadership evolves and grows inside the circle. The thing that makes this small centre evolve is knowledge and experience. I would like to vindicate my belief by sitting an abstract from Kotter “A few of the leadership attributes do seem to arrive at birth: some basic mental and interpersonal capacity, and perhaps some physical capacity that is related to energy level.
Furthermore, a few of the other attributes build off this native capacity (e.g. some intellectual skills would not develop without some minimum intellectual capacity). Nevertheless, the old homily “leaders are born, not made” gets little support from this analysis, because most of the items [attributes] comes after birth and are not deterministically a function of natural abilities…A large number of the items are developed on the job as a part of one’s post educational career. Almost all the knowledge, relationship, and background requirements fit this generalisation. Some of the skills, abilities and motivation do too.” (1988 p33-34). I consider leadership as “obligation” of every manager. The higher he is in the hierarchy of an organization the higher are the chances that the manager has developed some sort of leadership characteristics. Leadership can be considered as an art, which should be practised, studied from experience and developed.
2.Two different terms Management is a science. There are rules according to which a manager plans. Textbooks are offering a wide range of ways that organizational problems can be dealt with and offer specified ways to correctly administer a company. Leadership is not a science. It does not even imply correct administration. What leadership is really about is influence. Having the ability to command people without using the power of ones position in hierarchy. With leadership you achieve job satisfaction and highly committed employees. But according to H.Drummond “there is virtually no evidence to suggest that job satisfaction affects productivity, or, that highly committed employees perform better, or, that leadership personality, style or behaviour influences organizational effectiveness.” (2000 p89)
So what is the actual gain of being a leader in the eyes of your employees? On the other hand, from efficient management you can expect actual, evident and sure progress of the organization. All the scientific textbooks of management offer ways to motivate, plan, focus, set goals, ways to achieve them, helpful hints to take difficult decisions, offer job satisfaction to the employee, manage change and development. If actually the managers practised exactly the things that they were taught they would at the same time fulfil the need for leadership.
I agree with John Nichols Strategic and Supervisory Leadership but at the end isn’t that what obviously an efficient manager has to do in order to be successful? The difference in focus Business Administration is about details whereas leadership is about a vision. The rapidly changing business environment calls for managers with leadership characteristics, for administrators with the characteristics of a leader, who will be visionary and capable to influence the individuals to become more effective.
Special people who will coach, mentor, and be a good role model. The fact that the organisation must be flexible whilst focused on the long term as well as the constant threat of new entrants calls for someone with strategic thinking. For the administrator everything is about control and organizing. According to Maccoby (2000) leadership is a relationship. It is about motivating coaching and building trust. On the other hand business administration is focused on planning, budgeting evaluating and facilitating.
Summing up these three conclusions we can say that the pattern in which leadership and management react to each other is like management being the circle and leadership being its centre. It is the obligation of every manager to be at the same time an inspiring leader. Being an efficient manager has actually proved to bring successful for the organization results whereas being an inspiring leader has not yet proved its importance.
So an organization can progress if its manager is efficient but cannot progress, if its manager only relies to leadership characteristics. Leadership is an art that can be obtained and learned via experience. It is the difficulties via the years that one would face that will transform him into a leadership figure. In addition I consider leadership as nominal obligation of each and every manager. This is why in my 3rd conclusion I differentiate the term managers from administrators. A manager should be a leader. Should be able to inspire and motivate without using his power. He should be visionary whereas at the same time very detailed oriented. I would suggest that a word like Managementship or Leaderment should describe the actions of the 21st century manager, because our times calls for managers to be leaders.
Helga Drummond (2000), Introduction to Organizational Behaviour, Oxford University Press
Robert P. Vecchio (2000), Organizational Behaviour (4th edition), Harcourt College Publishers
Robert F. Grattan (2002), The Strategy Process (A Military-Business Comparison), Palgrave Macmillan
Andrzej Huczynski & David Buchanan (2001), Organizational Behaviour an introductory text (4th edition),Prentice Hall
J.P. Kotter (1988), The Leadership Factor, Free Press New York