Leadership vs. Management

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        Managers are assigned while Leaders emerged. Most of us think that leadership and management are the same. We assume that a good leader is also a good manager. In reality, there are only few breeds of Homo sapiens who are showered with this rare combination of skills.

Successful basic organizations rely on two or more personalities to sustain life. The most important person is a good leader who formulates the goals of the organization and sketches down the road map on how to achieve them. He is compared to a good father of the family who visualizes the family home, draws the house plan and hands it to people responsible for building it. To expect good result, he needs to exercise his supervisory power and sees to it that his people on the ground are moving to the proper direction. He must be there to fill the gaps when glitches strike along the way, provide energy when gas is running out and most of all, serve as model and inspiration to all.

Equally important are the Managers. Their functions are specific and are confined within their detailed responsibilities so as not to encroach on the playing ground of others and avoid overlapping of functions. These are the people responsible in carrying out their own functions on the ground in order to come up with the desired output once their individual efforts are joined and assembled. They are the carpenters, masons, welders, plumbers, and painters who are pooling their own expertise in order to build the family home according to the father’s vision.

Since an organization is supported by two legs, leadership on one hand and management on the other, it is imperative that transparency, fairness and honesty should reign between these forces to reach a common goal. The leader, as the physical embodiment of the organization must build trust and confidence on his manager based on the latter’s performance rather than affiliation and association and give what’s due him based on merits and fitness over lobby and influence. On the other hand, each manager must bear in mind that his power is limited and specific according to his designation. He must understand that Leadership is complex and broad while Management is simplified and detailed in scope. He cannot simply assume that he is excellent at both for this will possibly lead to domineering. Doing the right thing even when the boss is not watching is management maturity. The mutual support of both legs without discrimination and reservation is the torch that keeps the organization burning, for the absence of one will mean collapse for both.

By: Mack O. Dalay-on

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