To differentiate a leader and manager, one must examine key concepts that define the two. First, what do they bring to the organization, do they add or subtract value? Do they control or inspire a group of people? Is their power legitimate or voluntary? Management can be best explained as controlling a group whereas a leader is best explained as influencing a group. Being a leader consists of traits that inspire, motivate, bring unique perspectives, and build relationships. It has been said a leader has followers, a manager has subordinates. One does not have to have a position of power to be a leader, but they can be both. By examining the four frames, political, symbolic, human resource, and structural. We will see how a leader varies from a manager.(Political) First, leadership is an activity, not a position (Bolman, 2013, p.344). Achieving a managerial position does not make one a leader. A leader may not have a legitimate title of power yet can still yield the influence to achieve organizational goals. By assessing the distribution of power and interests a leader can put themselves in a position to get support when and where they need it (Bolman, 2013, p. 363). Through building relationships and using their power and influence judiciously, they can persuade, negotiate, and coerce if necessary (Bolman, 2013, p. 364). A manager has legitimate power, Although they can have compliance and orders followed, employees only do so out of obligation.(Symbolic) Second, a good leader brings to an organization a set of values that inspire. Part of the inspiration is creating a vision that employees will buy into. By using the symbolic frame a leader can give importance and meaning to everyday work. Contrastly, managers are more prone to creating goals but may lack the vision or inspiration for employees to achieve these goals. By having only a goal in mind and not a way to inspire employees to achieve the goal, is what separates a leader from a manager. (Human resource) Third, Leaders have emotional intelligence that keeps them in tune with others wants and needs. This emotional intelligence gives them the ability to motivate and empower others (Bolman, 2013, p. 360). This interest in the success of followers is a hallmark of a great leader. The social skills give the leader an effective base in which to inspire and bring out the best in people. A leader will focus on building relationships and trust. Trust will facilitate autonomy and help build coalitions and teams which help with success. Conversely, a manager tends to more oriented towards organizational goals and less interested in the personal goals of employees. A manager will ultimately decrease the value of an organization by not investing in relationships. (Structural) Lastly, leaders who use the structural frame tend to do their homework, rethink the relationship of structure, strategy, and environment. Focusing on the implementation of well laid out plans, but at the same time, they can be experimental (Bolman, 2013, p.358). Where structural leaders may lack the charisma and interpersonal skills of the human resource type leader, they can succeed if they implement the proper plan. I believe most managers see the completion of organizational goals through this structural frame. Seeing only the end and trying to implement the means to get there. In conclusion, it is possible for a leader to possess parts of the structural frame, I believe it is impossible to lead purely from only one frame. Instead, they must possess parts of all the frames, most importantly the human resource frame. Because without caring and nurturing of employees, one is forced to rule only from a political top-down command structure. A good leader will have followers built on mutual respect whereas a manager will have followers built on fear and obligation. A title and position make a manager, followers and successful implementation of organizational goals makes a leader.
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