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Managing and Leading People - Essay Example

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George Washington University
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It is critical to determine the distinction that exist between leadership and management in an organization setting since both are considered necessary. In most cases, the concepts of leadership and management are used interchangeably. However, the processes are very distinctive and complementary. This provides the foundation for evaluating the difference between strategic leader and a manager. Strategic leaders by definition have an active role in the guidance of an organization to its success. They work for the development of a vision for advancing the explorations of areas of the organizations that need improvement and development and also helps with systematic plans. A manager in an organization, on the other hand, has the responsibility of performing four management functions which include planning, leading, controlling and organizing. The managers focus on keeping workers in line most in a passive fashion. Over the years, there has been the development of the leadership styles which means there is the presence of traditional and contemporary style of leadership. A leadership style can work to motivate, influence and direct others to carry out the designated tasks and also act as inspiration for improved performance efficiency. The traditional leadership model that will be evaluated is the autocratic leadership style. This will be contrasted with the transformational leadership style which is a contemporary leadership style on how they impact the performance of the organization. There will also be an analysis of the essence of leader demonstrating an ethical approach and effects on engagement and performance. There are employee learning and development which is critical in today's business environment. In this reports the ADDIE model of employee learning and development will be evaluated. Additionally, the role of managers and line managers in employee learning and development will be evaluated.

Critically Analyse the Differences between a Strategic Leader and Manager

Strategic Leaders vs. Managers

Leadership and management are two concepts that need to be distinguished. Often, leadership and management are used interchangeably, but it is important to note they are complementary processes but distinctive (, n.d). Strategic leaders are individuals in an organization who are actively involved in the guidance of a business to success. They work in the development of a vision to help advance various areas necessary for the improvement and development of clear and systematic plans for the organization. As suggested by the name, strategic leaders formulate a defined strategy for the enhancement of success. Strategic leaders are involved in building elite capabilities. They understand that for the achievement of difficult goals, the focus must be on the building of capabilities that necessitate intense growth in people (Algahtani, 2014). The said capabilities are supported by technology and structure but are maintained as secondary to the human resource. Strategic leaders usually forge new value paths which brings the need for new, enhanced, elite capabilities. A manager, on the other hand, is a person in an organization who perform four designated management functions that include organizing, leading, controlling and planning. Most managers are involved in reinforcing structures (Algahtani, 2014). Managers usually engage their energy in promoting the compatibility of structures with business goals.

Over the years, there have been various definitions differentiating between strategic leadership and management. For instance, Warren Bennis defined leaders as a person who rights things as compared to managers who do the things right (, n.d). From this definition, it can be pointed out strategic leaders have various competencies which include having a vision offering the followers a bridge for the future. Through communication, they give meaning to the vision and building trust. This is in contrast to the managers who promote innovation in an organization through decisions on new directions or through the facilitation of innovations in others (Perrin, 2010).

Rost (1993) explained that strategic leaders influence relationships between themselves and the followers who have an intention of real changes that are a reflection of a shared purpose. This can be contrasted by a definition of a manager by Daft (1999) who pointed out that it entails a person dealing with the achievement of organizational goals in a manner that is effective and efficient through various managerial functions that include directing, controlling, staffing, planning and organizing resources in an organization (, n.d). From the definition, it can be noted that being a leader is about the people while being a manager is concerned with control and creation of predictable results. In today's work environment, some people regard management as a lesser skill than leadership. However, I am of the opinion that managers also need to lead.

Daft (1999) did improved on the Kotter (1990) work and was able to produce the following comparison between strategic leaders and managers (, n.d). The definition comparisons by Richard Daft (1999) are outlined below:

Table 1: Comparison of strategic leaders and managers definitions

Mode of definition Strategic leaders Managers

Direction The leader is involved in the creation and strategy and always keeps an eye on the horizon The manager is involved in planning and budgeting and also always focuses on the bottom line

Alignment Leaders are involved in the creation of a shared culture and values and help other grow in addition to reducing boundaries (Rowe and Nehad, 2009). Managers are people involved in the organization, staffing, controlling and direction in addition to creating boundaries.

Personal qualities Using personal qualities leaders have emotional connections, open minded, listener, and integrity and have courage (Rowe and Nehad, 2009). Managers are people in an organization keep an emotional distance and have insight into the organization (Perrin, 2010).

Outcomes Leaders in an organization usually create change which is often radical Managers usually maintain stability

From the above comparison, it is evident that a manager concerns a control process. This means that changes in performance are noted and rectified through necessary feedback. It is therefore right to say that managerial process needs to be very close to fail-safe and risk-free. Strategic leaders concern with motivation, inspiration and energizing the followers through the satisfaction of basic human needs (, n.d). This creates self-esteem, sense of belonging and recognition. Good strategic leaders ensure the followers are motivated by a relevant vision, and the employees are supported through coaching, feedback, role-modelling and the recognition and reward of success (Perrin, 2010).

Traditional and Contemporary Leadership Styles

There has been an increment of complexity, diversity and changes in today's business environment. This has brought the need to understand the leadership models and techniques. Some of the traditional leadership styles include laissez-faire, democratic and autocratic. There also contemporary leadership style which includes transactional, transformational and charismatic leadership styles.

Traditional Leadership Style: Autocratic Leadership Style

This leadership style is also referred to as the authoritarian leadership entails the definition of the division between a leader and the followers. Autocratic leaders can be described as the classic "do as I say" types of leaders. Autocratic leaders usually make decisions using their instincts and judgements (Ojokuku et al., 2012). This means rarely take ideas or advice from others. This type of leadership entails absolute, authoritarian control over the followers. Concerning organizational performance and motivation, this type of leadership style can be detrimental or beneficial depending on the situation (Abeh, 2016). For instance, it is necessary for urgent situations or in projects that necessitate strong leadership to get things done. Although this leadership style is beneficial at times, it can be problematic. Autocratic leadership styles are usually bossy, controlling and dictatorial (Bhatti et al., 2012). This can result in resentment and conflicts which might reduce organizational performance. The type of leaders adopting this type of leadership make decisions without consulting the followers, and this can lead to dislike since their ideas are not considered (Bhatti et al., 2012). According to research, autocratic leadership style usually results in creative solutions to issues and will ultimately negatively affect the performance of the organization.

Contemporary Leadership Style: Transformational Leadership Style

It is characterized by positive, trustful and optimistic leaders. These leaders are usually emotionally intelligent, the promote teamwork and innovations and also set high expectations for the organization (Garcia-Morales, et al., 2008). This type of leaders often changes the culture in an organization through the inspiration of a sense of mission and purpose. It is important to the team and stimulates new ways of thinking in addition to problem-solving. This type of leadership usually inspires employees to achieve higher organizational performance. Transformation leadership seeks to realize results that are beyond the normal standards and often set higher organizational goals through the inspiration of a sense of the essence of the mission (Hurduzeu, 2015). This leads to the stimulation of the employees have a positive thinking concerning tasks or problems. Also, the group goals are given preference over the personal self-interests. The behaviors of transformational leaders are critical in the motivation of employees making them aware of the outcomes (Ojokuku et al., 2012).

Ethical Approach and Impact on Engagement and Performance

An ethical approach to organizational leadership entails fundamental principles which include honesty, fairness, integrity and concern for others. This entails a situation in which the leaders need to engage in behaviors that are beneficial to others and avoid behaviors that can be harmful to others (Kalshoven and Hartog, 2009). Ethics in an organization need to start from the top. The ethical approach implemented by the leadership is essential since it impacts on the engagement and performance. In an organization, employees are essential assets and the lack of engagement and performance would prevent the achievement of goals and objectives. Ethical leaders promote engagement and performance in an organization (Trevino, Mayer and Epley, 2017). The ethical approach adopted by the leadership is a critical function in mediating between organizational culture and employee outcomes. An ethical leader promotes engagement, effectiveness, satisfaction and willingness of staff to put more efforts which ultimately result in increased performance (Butts, n.d). Ethical leadership has for long been associated with positively influencing performance and engagement, engagement, intrinsic motivation and willingness to find solutions to problems. As suggested by Piccolo, et al. (2010), leaders who possess a strong ethical commitment positively impacts task significance and autonomy which improves the employee willingness to put effort into performance. Trust and employee commitment are the two essential variables of ethical leadership in the improvement of engagement and performance (Bello, 2012).

Critically Evaluate a Managers Role in Employee Learning and Development


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