Leadership and management is taken as synonymous by many people. However, this are two different things and people together with organizations need to realize this for effective running of business. The main difference between the two is leadership seeks constructive change since they motivate the employees while management aims at establishing order through planning of activities. Despite being different, they are complementary to each other for the smooth running of the organization. The processes of leading and managing an organization can be differentiated and this is useful for the success of a business. Many organizations are making a move towards leadership rather than management due to the vast array of advantages it offers. Leadership and management in the education sector is important since education produces individuals working in all sectors. Educational leadership is therefore an important theory to be studied at great depths.
There are different models of leadership that can be utilized. There are several solo leadership models which emphasize on leadership as an individualistic entity. Some of them include managerial leadership model which puts the focus of leaders on tasks, behaviors and functions. This model does not provide a clear distinction between leadership and management hence suggesting that the differences stated in literature are exaggerated. Transformational leadership dictates that the main focus of leaders should be on the level of commitment and capacities of the individual members within the organization. Transactional leadership is whereby there is an exchange between the leaders and followers through a 360 degree feedback model. Finally, moral and authentic leadership is whereby the leaders exercise their professional and personal values in their leadership. The second model of leadership is the share leadership model. It encompasses distributed leadership which engages expertise within the organization rather than depending on the formal position of leadership alone. This is appropriate as the skills of all members within the organization are utilized. Contingent leadership is aimed at adapting to situations rather than having a universal form of leadership for all entities. This is of importance since people and situations differ and adapting to the different conditions is guaranteed to provide better results(Bush, 2011).
Being able to differentiate between a manager and a leader is essential in running a good business. Some of the characteristics of a good manager include having the ability to carry out a plan and attain a set vision. This can be achieved by laying down a map that can be followed by followers with the aim of achieving the set vision. A good manager should also be able to direct people through organizing people to carry out different activities depending on their capacities, analyzing the resources needed to carry out tasks and being able to anticipate any needs that may come up along the way. A manager should also be able to manage the processes taking place in the organization by setting up rules, processes, procedures to be followed and standards to be attained. Finally, a good manager should be able to have the best interests of the people working under him/her at heart. They should allow communication from the employees so as to get feedback where necessary and also involve the followers in some of the decision making activities (Zhendofer, 2014).
A good leader has to possess the following characteristics: charismatic, an inspirational motivator, has individual consideration and can offer intellectual stimulation. This qualities make a transformational leader which is essential to achieving constructive change in the organization. A charismatic leader creates emotional bonds with the followers giving them a sense of belonging and equity. A sense of belonging ensures commitment which is guaranteed to produce better results for the organization. It creates an idealized influence with the followers which is essential for success. As an inspirational motivator, the transformational leader enables the followers to draw their attention from self-interest towards the interests of the group. Individual consideration enables the leader to empathize with the followers ensuring they tailor their management styles to meet the requirements of followers. The leader offers intellectual stimulation by fashioning curiosity and creative thinking among the followers with the aim of problem solving and coming up with inventions. This characteristics advocate for individualism and therefore, a transformational leader can best operate in individualistic cultures. They need fine tuning when other types of cultures are involved in order to be effective (Zhendofer, 2014).
For an organization to proceed, they need to have a manager willing to learn. This is whereby the manager learns from their experiences and makes adaptations to the betterment of the organization. This type of characteristic requires that the managers are open to any direction that learning may take so as to identify and adapt to the current trends. There are different learning organizations, the adaptive learners organization experience an incremental change. However, in this organizations, change is within narrow ranges since practices that have for a long time led to the success of the organization are not easily abandoned. This occurs mostly in companies that have enjoyed prominence in their field for a long time and letting go of practices that have assured success is difficult. Another type of learning organization is the generative learning type where the organization learns how to learn. This organizations do not wait to learn from their experience but make inventions and adaptations. The organization has to reframe the organization’s approach to fit its environment through a change in the managerial practices and processes that are aimed towards implementing the new ideas (Mcgill & Slocum, 1988).
The management practices in learning organizations include: openness, systemic thinking, creativity, personal efficacy and emphatic. Openness requires the managers to be open to different ideas and possibilities so as to be unbiased on the current trends and choices that will lead to the success of the organization. Creativity is hard to develop, but once it is achieved, it has the potential of propelling on organization to greater heights. A creative manager should be flexible and ready to take risks, instead of fearing failure, managers should take it as feedback aimed at further creativity. Personal efficacy in managers is important since they believe in themselves which will translate to the followers. This should translate to believe in their ability to learn and believe that once learning has been acted upon, it can create a positive impact. Empathic managers have a strong sense of ethics, recognize and encourage employee contribution and are ready to take responsibility (Mcgill & Slocum, 1988).
Team leadership occurs whereby a group of people are dependent on each other, they share common goals and must co-ordinate their activities for purposes of achieving a common goal. This form of leadership ensures quick response and adaptation to changes that are constant and rapid. It advocates for lateral decision making which supports decision making at lower levels rather than the traditional decision making process which does not support decision making at lower levels (Peter G, 2016). Application of this kind of leadership in the education sector is key to ensuring improvement in performance and smooth running of activities. Students and teachers have a say in the running of the institution rather than having the principals do everything according to their liking. Feedback and communication from the bottom up is good since the followers have better knowledge of what the actual situation of the organization is then the top leaders and managers (English & Ehrich, 2008).
Over the years, the importance of leadership has grown and received more attention. Leadership has been shown to be of more importance than management/ administration. In the education sector, organizational goals are mostly a reflection of the aims and values of the principals and this promotes the vertical system of leadership. Many leadership theories however promote the characteristics of principals hence giving a view that leadership is individualistic. Many education systems in Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe are centralized whereby there is a central education ministry with a number of administrative levels that is determined by the population size. Decentralizing the education system provides much room for leadership to be exerted by the principals rather than management. This enables the leaders to differentiate a school from another hence creating greater appeal to the parents (Bush, 2011).
There is a common debate on whether a leader is born or made. For leaders that believe their leadership skills are in their genes, they rarely make any developments on themselves. Leadership goes beyond your background. Yes. Some people are natural leaders, but improvement is key to ensure your leadership skills are adapting to the ever changing environment. This is unlike management whereby a manager has to be made, they have to be trained to acquire necessary skills that qualify them to be managers. According to David day, there are six techniques that can be utilized to ensure leadership development. Firstly, the 360 degree feedback is a process that allows for leaders to give or receive feedback and it offers a competitive advantage for any organization using it. Secondly, leaders should provide coaching to their followers, this ensures their growth and directly translates to the development of the leader. Thirdly, the leaders can provide mentoring to less experienced people and diffuse a wide range of knowledge to them. Coaching and mentoring differ in the sense that the former is concerned with specific skills while the latter isn’t. Networking is the forth way of ensuring leadership development as it creates social networks and people are able to learn from each other. Having various job assignments exposes an individual to different challenges hence giving much room for development. Finally Action learning involves the use of projects as a means of learning (Rickards, 2015).
The world we live in provides different opportunities for different people. Many people begin life thinking that everyone has equal opportunities offered to them. This is the promise unfulfilled for many people. The world needs to stop being volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous and begin being visible, clear, understanding and agile so as to fulfil the promise for all people. Education has a role to play in this and education leaders are the main drivers of this change (Northouse & Lee, 2015). For many decades, the form of education being offered has led to an increase in inequity. School management has always followed the curriculum without putting into consideration individual students. This has been inappropriate since students are from different backgrounds and have different abilities. The education system has been for long similar to the case of giving all wild animals a test of climbing a tree to measure their abilities. In this case, the monkey will outperform the rhino. The teachers need to begin changing the way the approach education in order to give equal opportunities to each student (Shields, 2018).
Education is always put in the background when it comes to educational leadership. Most of the research being carried out on educational leadership places great emphasis on leadership and management while neglecting education which is the most crucial component (Brooks, 2018). The education component of educational leadership has to be reclaimed to ensure an efficient education system. A shift should be made from viewing leadership roles as hierarchical and technical with the aim dispersing knowledge to followers which can be tested. Instead they should implement a collaborative approach to leadership which gives a sense of responsibility between the students, teachers and those higher in the management (Wilkinston, 2017).
For any organization to succeed it has to have both a strong leader and a strong manager. This is essential in ensuring that followers feel involved and can be on board on the journey to success. Leadership ensures that followers believe and understand the vision of the organization and are ready to works towards achieving the organization’s goals (English & Ehrich, 2018). Management on the other hand involves administrative activities and ensuring there is a smooth running of the daily activities. An organization can have one individual carrying out both tasks, but they should be well experienced to ensure they know the boundary between the two positions so as not to neglect one and pay more attention to the other.
The business environment of today is constantly changing. This calls for organizations to develop strong leaders that are aimed at propelling the organization to greater heights. Developing the leaders is not just an individual task but also the task of the organization. Strong leaders are better equipped to face the daily challenges while motivating the followers to be able to face this similar challenges. Building leaders ensures there is high performance among the followers which has a positive impact on growth. The society today has changed and people nowadays respond better to equality than feeling inferior. This is also the case when it comes to students in schools. Managers are usually seen as rulers and they are feared or even hated in some instances. However, leaders are mostly loved and people find it easy to associate with them. The role of the manager should not be overlooked either since they carry out the administration part of any organization. They should be employed to run the technicalities of any organization. Leaders are the ones to interact with the followers since they help in developing, innovating, challenging and inspiring trust among the followers. For this reasons, management and leadership should be clearly distinguished within an organization for effective and efficient running of business.
Bush, T. (2018). The rise and rise of leadership (Commentary, Part 1). In G. Lakomski, S. Eacott, & C. Evers (Eds.). Questioning leadership: New directions for educational organisations.
Brooks, J. (2018). Everything we know about educational leadership is wrong: Rethinking scholarship and practice for a fractured field (chap. 3). In G. Lakomski, S. Eacott, & C. Evers (Eds.). Questioning leadership: New directions for educational organisations.
English, F., & Ehrich, L., C. (2018). Disambiguating leadership: The continuing quest for the philosopher’s stone (chap. 4). In G. Lakomski, S. Eacott, & C. Evers (Eds.). Questioning leadership: New directions for educational organisations.
McGill, M., et al. (1992). Management practices in learning organisations. Organisational Dynamics. Summer, 5-17.
Northouse, P. G., & Lee, M. (2015). Leadership case studies in education (chap. 14). London: Sag
Rickards, T. (2015). Dilemmas of leadership (3rd ed., chap. 2). London & New York: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group.
Shields, C. M. (2018). Living in a world of unfulfilled promises: Examining the context for educational leadership (chap. 1). Transformative leadership in education. New York: Routledge.
Wilkinson, J. (2017). Reclaiming education in educational leadership (pp.231-241). In P. Grootenboer, C. Edwards-Groves, & S. Choy (Eds.) Practice theory perspectives on pedagogy and education. Singapore: Springer.
Zehndorfer, E. (2014). Leadership: A critical introduction (chap. 7). London: Routledge.
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