Managing People as a Leader

Managing People as a Leader

Bonnie Keene, Uta M. Stelson
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 12
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1049-9.ch067
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Leadership is an all-encompassing term for individuals working with others. Whether someone is a leader or a manager, leadership is a critical component to the leader or manager role. Leadership is developed through constantly striving for higher levels of competency in communication, mediation, and motivation of others. However, those are not all the developments needed by a leader. He or she needs to have a vision and task management skills as well. This chapter will explore the difference in managers and leaders and the ways to effectively manage people by communicating, resolving conflicts, and motivating personnel.
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Managers Vs. Leaders

Managers and leaders are often viewed to be one and the same. While it is true that a lot of the same requirements fall on the shoulders of managers and leaders, the two are distinctly different yet completely interwoven entities. Management exists to allow organizations to run effectively and efficiently by reducing chaos (Northouse, 2007). Fayol’s five elements of management are explained as: planning, organizing, leading, supervising, and controlling (McNamara, 2009). Notice there is no mention of human resource elements of motivating, training, guiding, and leading individuals—yet leading people is often a task given to managers. To differentiate the two entities, leaders exist to encourage and ensure action among people to complete a task (Armstrong, 2011). Bennis and Nanus (1985) separate the categories of managers and leaders by stating, “Managers are people who do things right and leaders are people who do the right thing” (p. 221). This statement is popular, and it does mentally help to separate the two categories. It could imply that leaders are more concerned with an ethical decision-making process than managers, but that might not necessarily be the case. As cited by Northouse (2007), Bennis and Nanus separated the two categories by stating, “To manage means to accomplish activities and master routines, whereas to lead means to influence others and create visions of change” (Leadership and Management, para. 5). In order to be a leader, one has to have someone to lead. Managers do not have to have someone to manage. Therefore, leaders are more people oriented than managers.

This distinction makes perfect sense in the theoretical world. However, in reality, the two distinctive roles of mangers and leaders become confusing. For any individual, situations arise where one has to change his or her current role or outlook to adapt to the new situation. Managing and leading are simply roles that individuals sometimes play in order to successfully navigate through situations in life. Life is not structured or consistent; therefore, individuals need to be prepared to rise to the occasion and become whatever role is needed for success. Dealing with others to complete tasks for each other, other individuals, and organization is critical no matter the management style. Because managing people is a process of learning through growth for both the leader and the individual, a helpful resource is Illeris’s three-dimensional learning model to develop individuals cognitively, emotionally, and societally (Merriam, Caffarella, & Baumgartner, 2007). Growth allows for open mindedness and change to occur. Growth and learning are two essential components that all individuals no matter the level within the organization strive to achieve. Illeris’s model also accepts the whole person. Growth and learning is for the whole individual not just the professional individual.

Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner (2004) looked into cultural differences in managing people, and explained the concept of creating success in teams through a look into roles played by team members. R. Meredith Belbin (1996) identified nine roles needed in any team: idea generator, shaper, resource investigator, coordinator, specialist, implementer, team worker, evaluator, and finisher. There is no distinction between who is managing and who is leading; in fact, most roles have a combination of leading and managing. While the development of the nine roles was intended for groups, it is possible for one person to play all nine roles at once. Individuals simply cannot be fixated to a single role or title, but must be ready to fit into any needed role or title. An individual’s preference for the title of manager or leader does not matter. These titles and roles are simply one or more of the many “hats” individuals must wear throughout life, but they are not the only roles that leaders may take on. Other, possibly more important, roles include being a visionary and a task manager.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Vision: A future oriented concept that is always changing and developing to establish demanding yet achievable goals for individuals and organizations.

Leadership: An all-encompassing term for the activities of visionary individuals who work to motivate and develop others through effective use of skills of communication and mediation.

Motivation: Refers to the psychological forces that determine the direction of people’s behavior, their level of effort, and level of persistence. Motivation is not something that is “done” to other people. It is an internal state that directs individuals towards certain goals” (Osland, Kolb, Rubin, & Turner, 2007 AU14: The in-text citation "Osland, Kolb, Rubin, & Turner, 2007" is not in the reference list. Please correct the citation, add the reference to the list, or delete the citation. , p. 116).

Communication: “…The process by which information is exchanged between communicators with the goal of achieving mutual understanding” (Osland, Kolb, Rubin, & Turner, 2007 AU11: The in-text citation "Osland, Kolb, Rubin, & Turner, 2007" is not in the reference list. Please correct the citation, add the reference to the list, or delete the citation. , p. 195).

Coaching: A method of motivation/empowerment to create commitment and improve performance where each individual is seen as a work in progress with the leader helping him or her grow personally and professionally ( Rath, 2007 ; Kinlaw, 1999 ).

Empowerment: Granting employees the autonomy to assume more responsibility within an organization and strengthening their sense of effectiveness” (Osland, Kolb, Rubin, & Turner, 2007 AU13: The in-text citation "Osland, Kolb, Rubin, & Turner, 2007" is not in the reference list. Please correct the citation, add the reference to the list, or delete the citation. , p. 528).

Manager: A term for individuals who focus on process and efficiency through planning, delegating, decision making, and managing of time and stress.

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