Management comes with the responsibilities of conducting change while a leadership is characterized by the ability to inspire and direct people towards achieving specific goals. Ambler (2008) compares leadership and management on various aspects. According to Ambler (2008), a manager is an administrator while a leader is an innovative individual.
Thus, a leader has innovative skills integrated with original ideas upon which creativity is developed. In addition to that, Ambler (2008) describes a leader as one dependent upon and as a trustworthy person who focuses on the people who are led. In contrast, a manager act as a copy that relies on direction and procedures embedded in an organization’s structure. Organizations are led by executives who combine both leadership and managerial principles. Managers base their decisions on realities with short term perspectives (Ambler 2008). In addition to leaders embracing long term goals, objectives and vision, they take a keener perspective of wanting to know what could be the likely cause of a situation and why a particular outcome should be attributed to a specific issue. To the contrary Ambler (2008) notes that a manager takes the perspective of knowing how a situation arises and when such an event could occur.
While managers critically look at the basics of an issue and how an issue develops, a leader is interested on the general outcome of an event. A manager’s decisions are based on previous knowledge and experience while a leader innovatively comes up with original ideas and approaches to solving a problem. Ambler (2008) asserts that a Manager is authoritative while a leader may question authority. Leaders have personal characteristics such as relying on self in decision making and influencing actions by the people under authority, while a manager obediently stays submissive to authority (Ambler 2008). Ambler (2008) differentiates a manager and a leader by their approaches to the way they handle issues.
“The manager does things right; the leader does the right thing” (Ambler 2008). Managing and Leading people in organizations are complex undertakings. According to Ambler (2008) leadership and management skills play a vital role in the way organizations plan their activities with an emphasis on management functions that include planning, organizing, directing, staffing, and controlling. Ambler (2008) agrees that both elements of management and leadership provide a clear way forward for problem solving in organizations. In addition to that, strategic management decisions that are made and aligned with an organization’s vision entail a complimentary approach to decision making (Ambler 2008). Management is seen as a way to deal with complex organizational issues (Ambler 2008). Executives with good managerial skills are able to maintain law and order in organizational functions in addition to consistently running organizational activities.
Ambler (2008) argues further that organizations can only cope with challenges they face if management and leadership qualities are integrated and reflect both strong leadership and management. Ambler (2008) affirms that leadership and management are important components which should be balanced in running an organization. In addition to that, an organization can not operate well if leadership and management qualities are not integrated in a balanced manner. Ambler (2008) continues to argue that a leader brings into effect organizational policies while acting as a pivot in linking organizational activities. A manager on the other hand integrates the running of an organization with its vision and looks for ways to steer it to achieve its vision through the policies it has formulated.
Ambler (2008) affirms that a leader is characterized by the provision of skills and is always looked at as a problem solver, while a manager acts as a source of change. A manager is a risk taker in promoting an organization’s activities while a leader takes an organization through such risks. It is from a leader that others learn from, thus acting as a source of inspiration while a manager may create a good company image but without inherent characteristic that may inspire other individuals. Groups are well organizes and run by team leaders with leadership qualities. Therefore group members look to a team leader as the source of strength and an ideological father. A manager may not necessarily have the inherent qualities to inspire such a fatherly role.
Ambler (2008) argues that a leader enjoys the powers and ability to deal with group members who may deviate from the norms of a group in the way of punishing them in addition to a leader being susceptible to the wrath that may arise in a group. A manager issues commands against established standards. These formal standards provide the basis for punishing errant subordinates.
According to Ambler (2008), a leader integrates long term goals in steering an organization while managers may focus on both short term and long term objectives. Ambler (2008) describes leadership as an art and asserts that management is a science. While leadership integrates elements of vision and imaginations, management integrates aspects of logical approaches to issues in addition to creativity and emotion. Further Ambler (2008) identifies leadership with people’s abilities and contends that managers rely heavily on past performance of individuals in specific areas of interest. Ambler (2008) concludes by asserting that leadership and management work together to achieve organizational goals, where a leader identifies what should be done and a manager brings what to be done into action.
Ambler, G. (2008) The Practice of Leadership. Retrieved May 18, 2010, from http://www.thepracticeofleadership.net/2008/04/08/leaders-vs-managers-are- they-really-different/