A leader is someone ho makes a difference in the world by cultivating integrity, listening skills, a vision, knowledge, and passion; then extends that into their environment. Leadership has a sense of value and integrates it into work ethics to accomplish a goal. Leadership is a state of mind and not a title. By having the ability to lead by example using key components, such as; dependability, integrity, honesty, listening and communication skills, and problem-solving is an effective leader. Also leadership is the ability to influence others to achieve a common goal or task.
I believe leaders possess an insight into situations and the environment, good or bad, and have the capacity to work through them. A good leader can endure the waves and survive the storm. Although leadership and management styles are important, there is a significant difference between them. Leaders use influence and guidance to mentor actions, courses, and opinions. Whereas, managers have a responsibility and are in charge of others. Warren Bennie is a respected leader who is famous for two quotes; “failing organizations are usually over-managed and under-led” (Bennie, 2007, p. And “managers are people who do things right and leaders are people who do the right thing” (Bennie, 2007, p. 9). A leader uses skills to promote innovation and long-term perspectives. They focus on development and investigate the what and why. By focusing on people, leaders can develop and inspire trust. Generally, a manager focuses on administration, systems, and structures. They rely on control and recognize reality. Unlike the leader, the manager will ask when and how. Managers keep their eyes on the bottom line versus the leader who keeps their eyes on the skyline (Bennie, 2007).
Bennie (2007) describes a manager as the good soldier and the leader as their own person. An effective leader has many faces that enable them to be successful. Some of the key characteristics of an effective leader are charisma, passion, problem solver, dependability, communications skills, and the ability to multi-task. Sullivan and Decker (2009) describe four types of leadership styles; autocratic, democratic, laissez-fairer, and bureaucratic. The autocratic leadership style is more concerned with accomplishing tasks rather than relationships (Sullivan & Decker, 2009).
This type of leader generally makes independent decisions and uses coercion to implement power. Democratic leadership differs by having human relations and teamwork as the main focus (Sullivan & Decker, 2009). This leadership welcomes open and two-way communication. Laissez-fairer leadership has minimal established policies abstains leading (Sullivan & Decker, 2009). The bureaucratic style leans on established rules and policies and lacks security (Sullivan & Decker, 2009). Most of the time, the rules are inflexible and the relationship with staff is impersonal.
Although there are different management styles not all of them will be effective in all situations. An effective leader can recognize the needs of the organization and foster that leadership style. By being in-tune with the environment, anticipating the unknown, and possessing a vision are the foundation of an efficient leader. Managers and leaders are equally important; however, they have a different focus and agenda. Generally, managers are in a rank of authority and have subordinates working under them. Part of the manager’s compensation is getting tasks done on a financial and time restraint.