Leaders and Managers

Leaders and Managers in Today’s Organizations

    Organizations refer to their upper managers and their boards as the leadership team.   They both influence employees and direct work, but are they all leaders?   What is it that leaders and managers do?   Can leaders and managers be one in the same?   Just because a person is a manager, does that make them a leader?   This paper will try to answer these timeless questions using personal experience and perhaps a few experts opinion’s on the subject.
    What is a leader and what is a manager?   Dictionary.com defines a leader as a person or thing that leads, and a guiding or directing head, as of an army, movement, or political group.   The same source defines a manager as a person who has control or direction of an institution, business, and a person who manages, and finally my favorite definition, a person who controls and manipulates resources and expenditures, as of a household.
    Now that we have the definitions, we need to ask ourselves, is this what leaders and managers really do?   In my experience with managers and leaders, the leader or manager depends on the characteristics of the individual.   A leader is someone who is supposed to lead and be a guiding figure head, but this is not always the case.   You can have the most intelligent, caring person in the world appointed as a leader of an organization, but if they are not a people person, or have an outgoing personality of some kind, they will probably fail.   Some people were not meant to be leaders, no matter how many classes they attend.   It is also my opinion, that a leader must earn the respect of their followers or employees if they want to be successful.   The phrase that says that leaders are born and not made, may just be true.
    One example of a poor leader that comes to mind, was the captain of my second ship in the Navy.   A captain is the leader of his ship and all decisions and policy issues come from him.   He was a, “by the book” type of a...