MGT 321 Week 1 Assignment – Leadership versus Management

Leadership versus Management

MGT321 Assessing Leadership Skills

Leadership versus Management

Both managers and leaders are important to an organizations success. The differences between the two are often confused, while both necessary, they are very different. Strong leadership and strong management will ensure a company has a vision, the steps identified to move the company forward, and the ability to follow the laid-out plan. An individual can carry both the necessary characteristics of a manager and a leader . It is possible to be one or both. A simple way to look at the differences is by comparing management and leadership to the game of chess. The manager tracts and stays aware of the pieces and where they are on the board. They would also move the pieces according to the planned strategy. The Leader is looking several moves ahead, developing and adjusting strategy. Determining what risks to take and what pieces to sacrifice. Chess is a simple comparison; the purpose of this paper is to explain management and leadership in further detail. It will analyze the key roles of managers and leaders within organizations; it will also identify the most important personality traits of a leader.

Key Roles of Managers

There are many roles required of managers; these roles vary based on an individuals title or job function. Managers responsibilities are typically task-oriented and they provide direction through supervisory, administrative, and executive positions .

Managers make decisions, analyze needs, prioritize tasks, and lead people through different processes . Managers are responsible for staffing; this includes hiring and managing the corrective action process that can result in an employees loss of employment. Staffing also requires a focus on employee maintenance. More specifically, training, learning, and development, one on ones, coaching, feedback, and regular performance reviews. A manager must be a planner; they are responsible for scheduling, organizing, coordinating, and monitoring all employee activities .

Managers are responsible for facilitating the work and effort necessary to meet deadlines; this is done by ensuring the team stays focused and motivated to complete assigned tasks. The manager ensures quality expectations are met, and final results are within the agreed specifications .

Key Roles of Leaders

Leaders can be those in a position of power, like a CEO, a king, queen, or a president. Leadership can also be displayed from someone without a position of power, they simply step up and rise to the occasion

Leaders inspire, motivate, and move people. Leaders create a vision and help others see it. They seek and identify change opportunities for the betterment of the entire organization, and then they help people process and get through the change. Leaders develop strategy, set the direction, align the people, and then inspire, encourage, and motivate them forward .

Leaders motivate, inspire, and influence followers. This is done through charismatic communication. Leaders see potential and draw the very best out of people. Leaders serve, they earn trust and respect; and this inspires people to fight the fight, to work through challenges to achieve a common goal . The very best leaders develop so much respect and influence that people will often keep moving forward, not because they don’t want to let themselves down, but because they don’t want to let their leader down.

The Most Important Personality Traits of a Leader

While it is important to be skilled, being a leader is far more than skills or talent. There are many personal qualities, traits, and abilities that make the leader who they are . Some of these are natural, and others are acquired or learned overtime through hardship, failure, wins, and triumphs, this is known as experience.

Emotional intelligence, self-confidence, initiative, teamwork, collaboration, communication, empathy, the fortitude to bounce back from setbacks, and the ability to stay cool under pressure are all high-quality traits . Honesty and integrity, interpersonal skills, humility, optimism, drive, perseverance, and passion are several other traits that are important for a leader .

These traits garner followers; leaders should aspire to develop each and every one of these characteristics. Some are natural, some are developed, and some are simply a choice. A leader that is lacking any of these characteristics is less of a leader unless they are self-aware and striving to grow. Emotional intelligence, self-awareness, self-confidence and integrity are four foundational characteristics that everything else can be built on.


Leaders are necessary for companies continued growth, mangers are necessary for a companies success today. Both play very different roles but are equally important to organizations. A manager can be a leader, and a leader can be a manager. In this paper, we discussed the difference between management and leadership. It analyzed the key roles of managers and leaders in organizations; it also identified the most important personality traits of a leader.

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