Essay Example on Differences Between Leadership and Management

Published: 2018-07-27
Essay Example on Differences Between Leadership and Management
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Leadership analysis Management
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 610 words
6 min read

Leadership and Management Role

John Kotter, a prominent leadership theorist, came up with a structure for evaluating the main difference between leadership and management behaviors and responsibility. Kotter argues that there exist differences between leadership and administration responsibility. According to his claims, management role tend to focus on maintaining order and stability (Kotter, 1998). Kotter's argument is based on the fact that law creates consistency, and thus flexibility will lead to smooth and efficient operation of business activity as a management goal. Conversely, Kotter supports the idea that leadership attempts to enforce effective change and adaptability in an organization. He suggests that successful leaders should aim at seeking frequent adaptive change with the vision of continuously improving organization success (Kotter, 1998). Kotter firmly emphasizes on the separation of leadership and management role in the organization, arguing that both are critical to the success of the organization (Kotter, 1999).

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Henry Mintzberg suggests that although leadership and management role are conceptually distinct, it is impractical to separate the two in a particular organization setting (Mintzberg, 2009). Mintzberg agrees with Kotter that team development and success depends on both leadership and management skills. Furthermore, he holds that management involves various processes, while leadership focuses on the performance of several key roles inclusive of the management scope. For instance, Mintzberg came up with ten managerial roles from his firsthand observation of the executive (Mintzberg, 1973). He included being a leader as one of the roles. He did this to make the assumption that being a successful manager in the modern organization requires leadership capabilities. Mintzberg basis of argument is that the difference between leadership and management role should not be overlooked. He maintains that it is difficult to manage people without leading them. Management role according to Mintzberg involves providing information and new ideas. His study characterizes management role as more of action oriented. He criticizes the separation of management and leadership role. Therefore, he claims that effective leadership is a result of successful management (Mintzberg, 2009)

Management Position

According to Mintzberg's study, management position is entirely action based. As a manager of a team of 10 people, I fulfill several different management roles in daily business operations. Since he considers the aspect of leading as a management role, leading a team of 10 people is one of the major management roles in my job. Kotter reminds that management role involves helping people complete regular jobs. In my working environment, I managed to achieve this role through benchmarking. Secondly, I ensured that objectives are well laid for team. From this, they could clearly see real progress and make adjustments where necessary. Other action oriented roles included allocating resources, resolving conflicts and representing my department at board meetings.

Both Kotter and Mintzberg agree that leadership role involves having a clear vision of the organization and influencing individuals to accomplish it. One of my first leadership roles is to create changes and adaptability to innovations that will help align the business with its vision. For instance, launching new products, dealing with new customers, and new work process would help achieve this particular role. My other leadership role is helping my team understand the visionary statement of the organization and motivating them towards achieving it. One way of ensuring that all this thrive is by creating conducive working environment. Generally, as both theorists suggest, management and leadership roles are both significant to the success of an organization.


Kotter, J. P. (1998). A force for change: How leadership differs from management. Beijing: Huaxia chu ban she.

Kotter, J. P. (1999). John P. Kotter on what leaders really do.

Mintzberg, H. (1973). The nature of managerial work. New York: Harper & Row.

Mintzberg, H. (2009). Managing. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

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