Management Paper Help


Leading versus Managing?  Is there a difference?

This question has been asked and answered many different ways over the decades.  Your task is to research the difference between Managing and Leadership using three (3) or more sources outside of our textbook.

Based on your research you are to:

  • Compare and contrast the two.
  • Support your analysis using content from your research and our class
  • Use research material and content covered in class to analyze your own behavior/actions where managing or leading was demonstrated.  You must include 2 examples.


  • Presence of effective introduction and conclusion (10 points)
  • Demonstrated comprehension of the difference between management and leadership (30 points)
  • Analysis of both in relation to your own style or approach including specific examples (30 points)
  • Overall effectiveness including grammar, spelling and organization of paper ( 20 points)
  • Outside sources cited in APA style (10 points)

Logistics:  Your paper should be 5-6 pages, typed and double-spaced in 12 point Times Roman font with 1” margins.


Leading versus Managing? Is there a Difference?


Introduction. 2

References. 8


            Management and leadership are concepts that are used varyingly by different persons. Some individuals view the concepts as synonymous while others consider them different. Other people understand that the concepts have some differences, but are not able to exactly identify them. While leadership and management go hand in hand, the two ideas do not represent the same thing. In the current organizations and teams, there is a need for both effective leaders and managers for successful operation. Leadership and management are different concepts as they differ in terms of their underlying philosophies, outcomes, as well as functions. This paper aims at elaborating on these concepts, and later linking them to my style and approaches and instances where I practiced them.


            Leadership is a concept to a process where a person influences others with the aim of achieving particular common goals. Leadership is concerned with working towards delivering a constructive change as well as movement in organizations. There are central components that are associated with leadership and involve influence, goal attainment, occur in a group context, and it is a process.       Management is viewed in a different way to leadership. Management concept entails exercising administrative, executive, as well as supervisory powers that are aimed at providing direction to a group or organization (Kotter, 2008). Managers are mainly involved in organizing the departments and workers so that they can fulfill the daily functions of an organization. They wield authority that is vested to them by the organization or firm (Algahtani, 2014). Therefore, management is an organizational function that has to be fulfilled by a person that is assigned the responsibility. There are structures of management that guide individuals in management positions on how they conduct their daily functions.

            It is possible for an individual to be a manager, a leader, or both. However, the principles that are used in each concept are different. For one to be either of those, some specific skills and competencies have to be mastered. It implies that a leader has skills and competencies that are different from those of a manager. An individual who is both a great leader and a manager will have mastered skills and competencies for both concepts (Toor & Ofori, 2008). A person who has mastered the art of both concepts understands the contexts that are appropriate for either leadership or management. How one interacts and works with other individuals in an organization determines whether they are leaders or a manager. In most cases, management conceptestablishes order and consistency in organizations while leadership concept produces change and movement. Managers and leaders behave differently in different process of the organization.

            Management and leadership concepts differ during the process of planning and budgeting. Managers will seek to establish an agenda, allocate resources, and prepare a timetable. The manager is interested in ensuring that the planning and budgeting process follows the laid down structure of budgeting as is provided by the firm (Algahtani, 2014). Therefore, a manager may reject practices and suggestions that differ from the practices that have already been established. Leaders, on the other hand, are concerned establishing a direction that will be followed to achieve the planning and budgeting process (Kotter, 2008). Instead of providing directions that order the planning and budgeting process, leaders consider the bigger picture by clarifying the process, determining the strategies, and creating a vision that needs to be fulfilled by the process. The group of individuals involved in the process become co-creators in the process and thus provide opinions that lead to decisions and strategies that can help in attaining the goals of the organization. Leadership thus involves the initiation of action.

            Leadership and management concepts differ in terms of staffing. The management aims at providing structure, defining rules and processes, and doing job placements (Kotter, 2008). Therefore, individuals that join the organization are provided with the functions that they need to fulfill to get their rewards. The employees are provided by rules and processes that have to be followed. Failure to adhere to the job requirements attracts disciplinary measures. Leadership, on the other hand, is concerned with establishing relations with people as opposed to defining rules and processes for them. A leader will seek to align people with the mission, vision, and values of the organization. Instead of employees with rules, leadership empowers people to understand the goals and objectives of the organization (Clawson, 2012). The desire to achieve the objectives of the organization brings out the energy of the employees. A leader is involved in building teams and establishing commitment from the employees. The individuals are driven by the motivation to achieve goals as opposed to the requirement to observe the work structures, processes, and rules of the organization.

            Management concepts focus on establishing control and authority while leadership is concerned with inspiring and motivating people. For the managers, the work process is accomplished by the exertion of power and authority (Algahtani, 2014). The workers accomplish the tasks assigned to them out of fear of getting punished as opposed to motivation. Managers are promptly involved in providing solutions to problems that arise to avoid creating disorder in the work processes. Workers are also rewarded for the work they have done. Leadership, on the other hand, seeks to inspire people through empowerment. Leaders understand the needs of their workers and thus attempt to balance their work requirements and their needs. The leaders energize teams to fulfill their organizational responsibilities (Clawson, 2012). It allows for the creation of a vibrant atmosphere where the workers enjoy doing the job tasks.

            Managers are obsessed with current ways of working hence will seek to maintain the status quo. Leaders are motivated to facilitate the process of finding original solutions to problems that arise in the organization (Lunenburg, 2011). The concept of management does not give room for new ideas hence it hinders creativity in the organization. The people being managed are mainly motivated by the incentives and rewards offered. Individuals that utilize management solely in running organizations experience a high rate of turnover (Toor & Ofori, 2008). Workers feel they cannot grow since they are not allowed to exercise their creative skills. Leaders, on the other hand, provide their teams with room to share their ideas and participate in decisions making. Leadership concept entails coming up with new decisions that suit particular situations. The teams that work under leaders experience much job satisfaction.


Following the above discussion, I have evaluated myself and realized that I possess both leadership and management qualities. As noted by Kotter (2008) I portray leadership abilities by efforts to promote change and fluidity in a given situation. This influence is supported by my charismatic and transformative styles, where I strive to inspire people by positively changing their attitude and view of a given event. For instance, I managed to exhibit leadership skills while in high school where some of my classmates were angered that our colleague had been suspended from school for harassing a lower class student. Since they held high respect for me, I engaged them in a lengthy talk where we maturely and professionally analyzed the case including the possibilities that they would be too sent home in the event they went on rampage. Eventually, they calmed down and our learning resumed as normal. It is also crucial to point out that my character and personality inspire people to work towards the achievement of common or individual goals.

Clawson (2012), observes that leadership is about energy. Leaders bring in a unique form of energy in workers by motivating them and acting as role models. Leadership also provides a long-term focus on the operations of an organization. Leaders are mainly determined to establish a system that will continue even when they are not present in the organization. On this note, I remember when I was in high school where I was a football’s team player. Though I was not the captain, I would always psych my colleagues to put more effort during our practice sessions to make us easily win over our opponents. For what could be seen as a form of ‘succession planning,’ I ensured that new students joined the team, especially the newly admitted learners, to tap on their talent for a continuous prosperity. Linked to the example of recruiting new members into the school team, an element of a manager can be seen, notably because I could issue some instructions to them, and which were to be followed.

            In conclusion, management and leadership concepts differ in terms of their underlying philosophies, outcomes, as well as functions. However, it is possible for one to be a great leader and a manager. Organizations that excel employ people who have leadership qualities and then they are given the authority to manage. Such individuals can apply both leadership and management concepts depending on the situation. Combining leadership and management creates a workforce that is motivated to achieve the organizational goals while observing the work process. Any problems that arise during the work process are easily solved because the leadership and the employees work on achieving solutions that are acceptable to all people in the organization. Management concept is mainly employed when a problem requires to be solved within a short time. It is thus essential for individuals to work towards mastering both leadership and management concepts.


Algahtani, A. (2014). Are leadership and management different? A review. Journal of management policies and practices2(3), 71-82.

Clawson, J. G. (2012). Level Three Leadership: Getting Below the Surface (5th Ed.). Boston: Prentice Hall.

Kotter, J. P. (2008). Force for change: How leadership differs from management. Simon and Schuster.

Lunenburg, F. C. (2011). Leadership versus management: A key distinction—at least in theory. International Journal of Management, Business, and Administration14(1), 1-4.

Toor, S. U. R., & Ofori, G. (2008). Leadership versus management: How they are different, and why. Leadership and Management in Engineering8(2), 61-71.

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