Management versus Leadership Leadership can take on many meanings, be viewed in many different ways and is often misconstrued with management. To understand leadership and management a clear definition has to exist and the person(s) involved in leading or managing must have clear insight of what expectations are required to reach a specific goal. Therefore, this research paper as identified by this author will define leadership and management as they are defined in the Webster Dictionary and other scholarly approved references.
In addition, this paper will state a personal philosophy of leadership and management and will unpack and explain the language used in each definition. Second, this paper will identify success in leadership for becoming a great leader, and then compare and contrast leadership and management. Finally, the conclusion will summarize the entire paper by stating what is essentially more important, leadership or management. A Personal Philosophy of Leadership In order to understand leadership, the definition of a leader must be stated.
As indicated in the dictionary, “a leader is someone who leads, is in front or who takes charge. The word lead means to guide” (The Merriam Webster Dictionary, 2004). As stated by an author, “Leaders take the lead. That is, they initiate ideas and plans. Leaders move people to follow them by showing them consideration! ” (Ford 1991, 25) This author understands a leader to be one who influences and encourages another to follow in doing something great.
This author defines leadership as “the process of, through the power and direction of God, learning how to build relationships with others, allowing them an opportunity to expound on different ideas and thoughts, growing together in knowledge and working together in harmony to accomplish a mutual goal” (Sharp 2007). Leadership is the ability to be responsible, ethical, and have impeccable moral qualities. It is not just being responsible, ethical, and moral while working within or on a job, but it is maintaining that standard and continuing to live that lifestyle at all times. It is not the leader saying “do what I say, but not as I do. Rather, it is dedicating life to God allowing Him to enhance the character required for being that great leader. An extremely profound definition of Christian Leadership was stated this way: “Christian leadership is a relationship based on God’s Love which is imitated by the participants, the deader(s) and follower(s). They both work together in a mutual, accountable, dynamic relationship of duel influence with one another and the whole of the organization, for the purpose of accomplishing shared, God given, visions, purposes and goals” (Sharp 2007). This definitions center is the love of God.
As understood by this author, the love flows through both the leader(s) and follower(s). This love will allow both the ability to work together creating a powerful relationship whereby both will not only be able to influence each other, but will be able to influence others as well, until ultimately they have completed and accomplish that mutual goal. Another author defined leadership this way: “Christian leadership is a dynamic relational process in which people, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, partner to achieve a common goal – it is serving others by leading and leading others by serving’ (Ryan 2006, http://WV. Andrews. Du/CLC/charitableness’s. HTML). This definition also has God in the center. This author understands this definition to mean, as longs as the individuals allow the power of the Holy Spirit to lead and guide during the process of serving in leadership, both together will be able to achieve the mutual goal of serving others by recognizing the important roles and responsibilities essential to making a follower and great leader. The leader first having been a great follower would be able to demonstrate excellent following skills ultimately leading the followers to become great leaders. This is what another author had to say about leadership. Leadership is having and putting to action the God given qualities for the purposes of making a difference in the world, by serving others and by following in the foot steps of other great leaders” (Sharp 2007). This definition talks about “God given qualities. This author understands God given qualities to be some of the essential elements required for making a great leader. These God given qualities are the qualities that God imparts deep down within a persons heart, enabling the person to see clearly their purpose in life. These qualities may consist of faith, hope, trust, patience, dedication, determination and humility.
While there maybe many steps in recognizing God given qualities, this author believes the first step to recognizing these qualities requires one to be humble. Jesus Christ set the perfect leadership example and created the perfect model to follow when it moms to humility. “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself , and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:” (Philippians 2:5-9) God given qualities enhances the leaders ability to lead by the Spirit of God. The leader is then able to be effective in developing and encouraging the followers to becoming excellent leaders. Overall, these three definitions have great substance for establishing and developing great leaders and followers. Moreover, they put God in the center allowing the person(s) the ability to create and develop a solid foundation for leading and guiding.
Success in leadership How does one become successful in a leadership position? In order for a leader to become successful in a leadership position, the leader must be willing to work together with others. As an author describes, “Success in leadership, success in business, and success in life has been, is now, and will continue to be a function of how well people work and play together” (Sharp 2007). Not all leaders posses the character required for getting others to follow them.
They have not experienced a character makeover or the ultimate transformation. The ultimate transformation is receiving the gift of salvation by accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. God will then be able to give an overall transformation of the heart, mind, spirit, and body. The person would then be rooted and grounded on a strong foundation where no man can bring down. Having under gone this great transformation of character, the leader is now able and ready to help with encouraging and inspiring others to become great leaders.
It was expressed by an author that “not all leaders have the same style of leading, that leadership is contingent on circumstances, and that what works in one situation may not work in another” (Ford 1991 , 25). If all leaders were to experience that inner transformation of character prior to becoming leaders, there would be less leaders that posses that autocratic style of leadership. With no sense of real dervish skills, they tend to focus on the less important matters, rather than those elements that are essential to accomplishing the mutual goal.
Why This Definition The definitions of leadership used to express this authors personal philosophy were chose because they focus on having God as the centered which represents a solid foundation. Christian leadership, unlike secular leadership or management, focuses on building relationships with others for the purpose of reaching a mutual goal. As stated above, these definitions have great substance for establishing and developing great leaders and followers. Contrast and Comparisons Leadership is not to be confused or misconstrued with management, since they are often used interchangeably.
In comparing leadership to management, this author has discovered that they both involve the supervision of personnel, working with teams, decision making, and building relationships. However, they both do not operate on the same level. In contrast, leadership is more liberal than management, meaning leaders are more open to sharing and listening to new innovative and creative ideas. Management tends to closeout inner communication with their workers making it difficult to accomplish anything. Leadership works together as a team in accomplishing goals. Management does not work as a team and tends to be more controlling.
Ultimately, this controlling attitude will result to missing goals or even worse termination of an employee, which then may lead to the organization failing all together. An author best described managers and leaders like this, “Managers get other people to do, but leaders get other people to want to do” (Thrall 1999, 21). Managers fit more into the transactional style of leadership. Like management, transactional leadership is more controlling. According to class lecture, transactional leadership “seeks to dictate telling others what to do and expecting them to do just that. It promises rewards for performance” (Sharp 2007).
It is based on a relationship that exists between the leader and the follower; however, the dept of this relationship is limited and has more of a temporary nature to it. The relationship is only useful as long as the participants can gain surf’ (Sharp 2007). Leadership thus would fall under the transformational style of leadership. Like leadership, transformational leadership is a process of building relationships and by the vine power of God, and it “seeks to create shared vision and purpose among leaders and followers and builds on the idea of change in organizational change process.
It looks deep to making the process a part of getting to the end result” (Sharp 2007). As stated in class, “transformational leadership seeks to promote higher levels of commitment to moral values, goodness, priority assessment and value evaluation, exemplifies what is expected of others and places a higher value in the worth in the individual. Whereas the theory itself is not admittedly inspired by any biblical or scriptural premise it is indeed insistent with what is taught and demonstrated in the Bible” (Sharp 2007).
Conclusion In conclusion, this research paper has identified a personal philosophy of leadership, unpacked and explained the language used in each definition, identified success in leadership for becoming a great leader, and compared and contrasted leadership and management. It is no doubt that leadership be defined in many ways. Nevertheless, in any situation, the most important aspect of leadership that should be considered when creating a definition is God. Praying and asking God to reveal His purpose is not a crime. Often times God is oaken out of the equation all together, resulting in failure.
No matter what organization, company or job a person is in, as long as God is the foundation for building, nothing or no one can tear it down. Regardless what definition is used in developing a leadership plan, goal, mission or task, it is imperative that the foundation be set on the solid rock. God must be the center and set as the ultimate leader so that the Spirit of God can lead and guide unto all truth and understanding.