Leading VS Managing Essay

Leading Vs. Managing


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This report contains an analysis of what the manager must do to get the most out of its team and also what needs to be done to keep it that way. The report also analyzes the relation between leader and manager. Though both are similar, they both are quite different too, how and what are the differences will be discussed in the report.


“You manage people or the things that people do. A good manager gets results by making the project clear, assignments logical and rewards plentiful… difference is in the tools available to the leader, No. 1 full trust and confidence of the people led” (Weiser, Pat, ColoradoBiz) here the writer tells in a very easy yet definitive way how are managers different from the leaders, leaders are supposed to know their team, whereas managers are just manage things, managers want to keep things simpler and end up getting all the work done, this may get the work done, and no wonder the work be good, but what really is successful, is the person who knows his people, what are their strengths, he knows where to put whom so as to get the maximum results although a member of a team might not know if he has it in him or not, but the trust of the leader invokes in the team a power even the team doesn’t know it has, and that sets leaders apart from managers.


My client organization is facing difficulties and wants me to give recommendations that if the decision making responsibility should be shared with the lower level staff or be with the existing middle managers only, as the middle managers oppose what the CEO wants i.e. to bring about a change and give decision making authority to the lower level managers as well, or what are normally called the line managers. In the current scenario what seems of utter importance is that the CEO is very confused as he is stuck in between the people he works with and the people who work for the people who work with him. This may sound weird but actually this is what is happening. If the CEO goes with his managers and doesn’t involve the lower level managers then the story doesn’t change, he’ll have the managers with him but the organization will also remain the same, But if he chooses to go against his managers and involve the lower line managers in the decision making process, he might loose on some of the managers who oppose but he might also gain tremendously with the change.

Differences between Leading ; Managing

As discussed earlier in the introduction there are plenty of similarities in leading and managing but still both are poles apart from each other how?

Scott Addis in his article (reference included) every clearly identifies the points that set managing and leadership apart from each other, he very briefly describes managing as ” …about stewardship, control, planning, organizing, resource allocation and problem solving” where he also says about leading being ” the process of influencing others to achieve mutually agreed upon goals for the good of the organization” as many people would agree, the points listed with managing are very similar to what we are used to hear and read in the books, but seldom do we read or hear about the differentiating features of leading, but as Addis states in his article, the points seem very similar, as in some point of time thee features of a good leader would have influenced us to do well, or work for that person without even a second’s thought of it being the thing we want to do or not. Therefore the correct thing to do is leading and not managing.

Lead or Manage

Though managers are also respected by their colleagues it’s the leader in the end who becomes the inspiration for many. A good manager may not be able to lead, but a good leader is always a good manager, for he knows who to ask for favors and whom to give orders to. One of the most striking features of a leader is that he knows what he does; also he knows how to get the trust of the people who work or exist around him. For this is the reason he becomes what he is, and everyone wants to obey what he says without a single question “why?”, Leaders have a charismatic personality, which is what the followers actually follow. The CEO I the said scenario wants to bring about a change, the CEO seems to be wanting to get the lower level staff in with the sync the company is going with, he wants them to feel that they all are interconnected and that they all are important for the well being of the company, therefore this sums up t the conclusion he wants the benefit of the employees at the lower level, he isn’t only thinking about the way things getting done but he is also concerned about the people who get these things done. Therefore he is showing the personality traits of a good leader who wants to not just have his management with him but also wants to have the lower staff with him to share the decision making burden with him.

Persuade Arguments

The CEO should tell the managers/ management that if the lower level people are involved in the decision making then there are chances they would feel more and more involved into the business, this way they will perform better, also they will feel that they also ‘own’ the company and what belongs to someone always gets that persons attention a lot better than what doesn’t belong to him. Also the CEO should try to make the managers realize that the current scenario isn’t working and maybe the lower level managers would have some in depth analysis as they are the people who actually get the things done with their own teams. Maybe this way the problems can be conveyed more and more easily to the top management.

Change Management

The CEO should ask the managers to try “to loosen up” a little as this will provide them the opportunity to get in touch with the lower managers and work better with them, also tell them that the command and control system only infuriates people and makes the gaps wider and the communication barrier goes up, making the situation worse, which in turn also affects the relations of the lower level managers with the management of the company, when the communication will be close to Nil, the management may not be able to ‘hear’ what the lower management wants them to listen, hence they both are not telling each other what needs to be told, in the end differences are created amongst both and the organization suffers, just because the management isn’t loosening its attitude.

Implications of Actions & Decisions

The implications of the case with the current scenario are visible, the organization is losing its customers, but the other scenario with the lower management is that if the CEO makes the organization a decentralized one, he may loose on some of his managers, but loosing the managers who don’t trust their leaders is good for him at last he’ll know who to trust next time, as for the lower management there would be  an opportunity to prove their mettle and turn the organization around by getting back the lost customers and making greater revenues for the company.


The recommendations for the CEO considering the above are as follows:

The decision making should be decentralized, and lower management involved
The management that doest allow the new scenario to emerge should be laid off and new management should be brought in, which is more flexible.
A very soft and healthy culture should be developed within the organizations and the levels should be brought down to a minimum so that communication is never difficult.

In conclusion to what has been said above, the easiest explanation would be to say that leadership is far more flexible, trusting, and reliable than managing, where both have proved each other wrong many times the leadership is something which is more often referred to as being effective, the CEO of the company should trust my recommendations and do away with the management’s command and control environment as all that is doing is bringing the performance down with the rigid ness in their style of work and the decreasing number of customers, the CEO should act as a leader and get the lower level involved, and show the management that the organization can be taken places with the decision of a leader and taken places without doing much, therefore the CEO should take my advice and decentralize.


Addis, Beyond Insurance Leading vs. managing,


Robbins, S. P. (2004). Organizational Behavior. New York: Pearsons.

Weisner, Pat, Leading vs. Managing, ColoradoBiz,


Woods, Edward (2005). Employee Development at the Workplace: Achieving Empowerment in a Continuous Learning Environment . Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company.