Managers manage organizational resources, timelines, and logistics. Leaders influence people and sway their attitudes and behavior towards what will make the organization more efficient and effective. Managers take on the job that mandates and necessitates planning, organizing, control, coordination, directing, budgeting, strategizing, making decisions, and solving problems. On the other hand, leaders are known more for vision-building, inspiration, motivation, fostering inter-group relationships, building teams, fostering teamwork, and plenty of listening to people.
Those who have regarded the debate of leadership versus management as an effort in dichotomy have set the stark differences between a leader and a manager. These differences range from the trite to the sublime. For some, the manager accepts the status quo while the leader challenges it. Others think that the manager asks how and when while the leader asks what and why. A more narrow and boxed thinking has produced the opinion that while the manager accepts reality, the leader investigates it. Things, of course, are not this cut-and-dried.
Leaders may manage. Managers may lead. The two functions are neither synonymous nor dichotomous. They are complementary. Management functions can potentially provide leadership. On the other hand, leadership activities can contribute to managing. Management functions are fertile ground to show leadership, while leadership efforts can be a factor in managing. Nevertheless, some managers do not lead, and some leaders do not manage.
An economic crisis overhauls all these preconceived notions. A crisis defies the usual definitions and concepts.
In this season of recession, who do you think is more necessary to keep a company or business organization afloat, a leader or a manager?