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Are You A Manager or A Leader?

As we continue to discuss various aspects of leadership, having secure communication is the foundation for an organization to operate successfully. Communication includes verbal and nonverbal cues between employees and supervisors. In weeks prior, we were given three practical suggestions for effective communication in an organization by Dr. John A. Kline, which are: encourage feedback, listen effectively, and reduce communication misunderstanding. With active listening, a strategic communications leader can accurately assess the concerns of the subordinate to alleviate the bottleneck effect of organizational communication. While subordinates take cues on how to communicate from leadership, we also have learned that leadership and management are not similar titles to describe the functions each role plays. Leaders are innovative visionaries, while managers help produce products and services as promised. A leader is not defined by their title or by the amount of money they make and instead seizes the opportunity to make the organization better. It is necessary to identify goals to prepare yourself and your organization for the future. Another factor mentioned by Dr. Kline that resonates with the distinction between leaders and managers is being open not only through communication channels but also in the transparency of intentions. 

You can’t have a team believe in your vision blindly. You have to allow your team to have ownership of their contributions to the overall vision. That also builds trust in the organization over a person. I have been ignorant to the difference in management versus leadership, but as we define these terms, I am resolving the frustration I once gave to misunderstanding in the workplace. Leaders and managers are both needed in an organization. To eliminate the frustration and improve internal communication, we have to identify who are leaders and who are managers. There needs to be mutual respect for what both provide. Leaders learn just as much from their team as the next person, but it is how they flip the knowledge gained that sets them apart.

Additionally, managers know how to fulfill the tasks given, which is a sign of efficiency. In the article by John Kotter, Management Is (Still) Not Leadership, he states that At a certain point, we end up with over-managed and under-led organizations, which are increasingly vulnerable in a fast-moving world. This quote describes the state of the country under its current leadership. The White House is riddled with internal communication issues that end up as headline news each day. In turn, it diminishes the credibility of the staff and the country as citizens and other countries witness the breakdown in communication.


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