Are Leaders And Managers Different? Can A Leader Be A Manager? Essay

Are Leaders And Managers Different? Can A Leader Be A Manager? Essay

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Are leaders and managers different? Can a leader be a manager? Can a manager be a

leader? Is there a difference between leadership and management? According to Abraham

Zaleznik, the difference between managers and leaders lies in the conceptions they hold, deep in

their psyches, of chaos and order. Zaleznik goes on to say that managers embrace process, seek

stability and control, and instinctively try to resolve problems quickly, sometimes before they

fully understand a problem’s significance. Leaders tolerate chaos and lack of structure and are

willing to delay closure in order to understand the issues more fully. Business leaders have

much more in common with artists, scientists, and other creative thinkers than they do with

managers according to Zaleznik. Organizations need managers and leaders to succeed.

Developing both requires a reduced focus on logic and strategic exercises in favor of an

environment where creativity and imagination are permitted to flourish (Zaleznik, 1977).


Personalities differ in leaders vs. managers. Leaders and managers differ in motivation,

personal history, and how they think and act. A manager wants to solve problems, and find the

best ways to achieve results so people will continue to contribute to the organization. A manager

has persistence, is tough minded, hardworking, intelligent, analytical, and tolerant. Zaleznik

states leaders advocate change and are concerned with understanding people’s beliefs while

managers advocate stability and carry out responsibilities and exercise authority (Lunenburg).

Attitudes and goals differ between leaders and managers. Managers tend to adopt

interpersonal attitudes toward goals. Managerial goals arise out of ...

... middle of paper ...

need to seek out leaders for positions and train them to be managers without the leader losing

their compassion for the workforce. Leaders are people-oriented. Managers are goal oriented.

A leader has the ability to influence and motivate their employees; it would make for more

cohesive work environment than a company that was run by a controlling, authoritative manager.

Many people are both leaders and managers. They have management jobs, but realize that one

cannot buy hearts, especially to follow them down a difficult path, and so they act as leaders



Not all managers exercise leadership and not all leaders manage. Organizations need

strong leadership and strong management for optimal effectiveness. The task is to lead people

and the goal is to make productive the specific strengths and knowledge of every individual.

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