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Leaders or Managers: Which would you choose?

In some of the literature, there is the inference that general/technical management roles are somehow different and inferior to leadership functions. Management and leadership are very definitely not mutually exclusive functions, although the attributes and skills emphasized differ. The best possible scenario for an organization would be to have technically proficient managers with strong leadership skills.

If in a hypothetical situation your company was able to hire only either technically sound managers with weak leadership skills OR strong leaders with less knowledge/interest in routine management, which would you opt for and why?

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Choosing Between Leaders and Managers

In an ideal situation, both managers and leaders would complement each other in an organization. Leadership cannot replace management; it should be an addition to management. However, in this hypothetical situation, we are asked to choose between technically sound managers with weak leadership skills and strong leaders with less knowledge/interest in routine management. We will base our decision on looking at both roles separately so that we can understand clearly why we are choosing one over the other.

Who are managers? "Management can be defined as the attainment of an organizational goal in an effective and efficient manner through planning, organizing, staffing, directing and controlling organizational resources" (Daft, 2005, p. 16). It focuses on establishing detailed plans and schedules for achieving specific results, then allocating resources to accomplish the plan.
Managers maintain a degree of stability, predictability and order through efficiency with subordinates. They help the organization consistently achieve short term results and meet the expectations of all stakeholders. Some characteristics of managers are:
?Plan and budget - focus on the bottom line
?Based on formal authority
?Organize and staff; direct and control; create ...

Solution Summary

The solution lists the differences between sound managers with weak leadership skills OR strong leaders with less knowledge/interest in routine management. It outlines the reasons why one would be better than the other in a hypothetical situation where a company was able to hire only one of them.

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