distinct feature of management

Leadership is ultimately about creating a way for people to contribute to making something extraordinary to happen." Leadership is one of the most relevant aspects of the organizational context. Leadership is a way of focusing and motivating a group to enable them to achieve their aims. It also involves being accountable and responsible for the group as a whole. A leader should:

  • provide continuity and momentum
  • be flexible in allowing changes of direction

Leadership and management are two notions that are often used interchangeably. The following aspects are can differentiate between the leadership and management.

Leadership is a distinct feature of management

Leadership is just one of the many assets a successful manager must possess. The main aim of a manager is to maximise the output of the organisation through administrative implementation. To achieve this, managers must undertake the following functions:

  • organisation
  • planning
  • staffing
  • directing
  • controlling

Leadership is just one important component of the directing function. A manager cannot just be a leader; and also needs formal authority to be effective. For any quality initiative to take hold, senior management must be involved and act as a role model. This involvement cannot be delegated

In some circumstances, leadership is not required. For example, self motivated groups may not require a single leader and may find leaders dominating. The fact that a leader is not always required proves that leadership is just an asset and is not essential.

Differences in Perspectives

In this aspect Managers think incrementally, whilst leaders think radically. Managers do things right, while leaders do the right thing. This means that managers do things by the book and follow company policy, while leaders follow their own intuition, which may in turn be of more benefit to the company. A leader is more emotional than a manager.

Subordinate As a Leader

In this aspect often with small groups, it is not the manager who emerges as the leader. In many cases it is a subordinate member with specific talents who leads the group in a certain direction.

When a natural leader emerges in a group containing a manager, conflict may arise if they have different views. When a manager sees the group looking towards someone else for leadership he may feel his authority is being questioned.


In this aspect Groups are often more loyal to a leader than a manager. This loyalty is created by the leader taking responsibility in areas such as:

  • Taking the blame when things go wrong.
  • Celebrating group achievements, even minor ones.
  • Giving credit where it is due.

The leader must take a point of highlighting the successes within a team, using charts or graphs, with little presentations and fun ideas. Leaders are observant and sensitive people. They know their team and develop mutual confidence within it.

The Leader will follow manager rules

A leader is someone who people naturally follow through their own choice, whereas a manager must be obeyed. A manager may only have obtained his position of authority through time and loyalty given to the company, not as a result of his leadership qualities. A leader may have no organisational skills, but his vision unites people behind him.

Management knows how it works and how to do it

Management usually consists of people who are experienced in their field, and who have worked their way up the company. A manager knows how each layer of the system works and may also possess a good technical knowledge. A leader can be a new arrival to a company who has bold, fresh, new ideas but might not have experience or wisdom.

Maslow Hierarchy of Needs theory was developed and remains valid today for understanding human motivation, management training, and personal development. Indeed, Maslow's ideas surrounding the Hierarchy of Needs concerning the responsibility of employers to provide a workplace environment that encourages and enables employees to fulfil their own unique potential relevant than ever. Maslow's original Hierarchy of Needs model was developed between 1943-1954 and says that we must satisfy each need in turn, starting with the first, which deals with the most obvious needs for survival itself.

Maslow's self actualisation,employees characteristics:

Maslow's described some objectives, the objectives are

  • Keen sense of reality - aware of real situations - objective judgement, rather than subjective.
  • see problems in terms of challenges and situations requiring solutions, rather than see problems as personal complaints or excuses.
  • Need for privacy and comfortable being alone.
  • Reliant on own experiences and judgement - independent - not reliant on culture and environment to form opinions and views.
  • Not susceptible to social pressures - non-conformist.
  • Democratic, fair and non-discriminating - embracing and enjoying all cultures, races and individual styles.
  • Socially compassionate - possessing humanity.
  • Accepting others as they are and not trying to change people.
  • Comfortable with oneself - despite any unconventional tendencies.
  • A few close intimate friends rather than many surface relationships.

Interpreting behaviour:

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs is an excellent model for understanding human motivation and to achieve a particular need or aim is 'fun' can provide a helpful basis for identifying a Maslow driver within a given behaviour, and thereby to assess where a particular behaviour fits into the model.

  • Biological - health, fitness, energising mind and body, etc.
  • * Safety - order and structure needs met for example by some heavily organised, structural activity
  • Belongingness - team sport, club 'family' and relationships
  • Esteem - competition, achievement, recognition
  • Self-Actualization drivers - challenge, new experiences, love of art, nature, etc.

The best modern employers and organisations are beginning to learn at last: that sustainable success is built on a serious and compassionate commitment to helping people identify, pursue and reach their own personal unique potential.

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