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Management and Leadership
There are many drivers that contribute to the success, or failure, of today’s or
organizations. Countless internal and external factors including market health, culture,
globalization, outsourcing, and technology bend and shape the organizational structure of
businesses. One of the most profound factors that affect an organization is the competency of its
leaders and management teams. In turn, an effective manager or leader must have a strong
comprehension of the factors that affect his or her organization. A business benefits greatly when
a skillful and inspirational leader is at the helm of an organization. Similarly, any business team
within an organization gains the same advantages from a transformational leader, or perhaps a
strong minded, transactional manager.
Management versus Leadership
When considering the terms “management” and “leadership”, one may assume the terms
to be similar, or even interchangeable. The truth is that these terms have differences that, in
practice, impact an organization in different ways. In fact, “Effective managers are not
necessarily true leaders. Many administrators, supervisors, and even top executives perform their
responsibilities successfully without being great leaders. But these positions afford an
opportunity for leadership. The ability to lead effectively, then, will set the excellent managers
apart from the average ones (Thomas S. Bateman, 2009).”
The difference between management and leadership depends, surprisingly, less on
hierarchal placement and more on managerial style. It would seem apparent, though, that many
individuals with strong leadership skills often find one selves in positions of power. Leaders are
by definition charismatic, inspirational people whose energy is of passion and not necessarily
control. Such individuals lead using a transformational strategy in which followers are promised
not only extrinsic rewards, but also the reward of bettering themselves and their organization.
Leaders inspire followers, and in turn both the leader and the follower’s goals are aligned.
A manager may technically “lead” a branch of an organization but often by transactional
means. Such managers are put in place to produce results or reach an objective that is often
subject to strict budgetary restraints and timelines. “Transactional leaders view management as a
series of transactions in which they use their legitimate, reward, and coercive powers to give
commands and exchange rewards for services rendered. Unlike transformational leadership,
transactional leadership is dispassionate; it does not excite, transform, empower, or inspire
people to focus on the interests of the group or organization (Thomas S. Bateman, 2009).” This
does not mean, however, that transactional forms of management are non-effective in producing
The differences between leaders and managers can easily be observed within Sikorsky
Aircraft, a leading rotary aircraft manufacturer. There are several managers throughout
Sikorsky’s organizational structure, yet a comparatively small number of managers can be
described as true leaders.
Roles and Responsibilities in Regards to a Healthy Organizational Culture
Both organizational leaders and managers contribute to maintaining a healthy
organizational culture. The roles and responsibilities of the two titles, although both vitally
important, often differ. Lower level or frontline managers provide supervisory leadership which
deals with employee guidance and day to day organizational complexities. A manager holds
legitimate power, and his or her employees are obligated to do as they are instructed. Managers
use their authority to reach goals that are in line with the good of the organization, but they do so
through control and not inspiration. “Getting the job done” is the main concern of a manager.
Because they work hand in hand with employees, it is important for organizational managers to
sustain employee morale through communication adequacy and respect for ethical standards.
An engineering group supervisor within the Sikorsky Aircraft Test Laboratory follows
the basic processes practiced by effective organizational managers. In this case, the manager
delegates to the engineering team what is expected of them for the duration of the project
timeline. Tests must be completed, and yet time and cost constraints must be met. It is the
manager’s responsibility to ensure goals are met through authority, but not necessarily to better
the process or inspire the team to strive for anything more.
Organizational leaders uphold their unique responsibilities by utilizing strategic
leadership. “Strategic leadership gives purpose and meaning to organizations. Strategic
leadership involves anticipating and envisioning a viable future for the organization, and
working with others to initiate changes that create such a future (Thomas S. Bateman, 2009).” If
managers are responsible for making sure goals are met, organizational leaders are responsible
for envisioning and implementing goals that will add value to the organization.
The President and CEO of Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, Jeffry Pino, is familiar with the
advanced processes that organizational leaders must face. A leader in this position must focus on
how to keep his company’s product viable in an ever changing and aggressive market. Thus he
challenges processes, challenges his employees, imagines ways to enter new markets, and
envisions organizational changes that will benefit Sikorsky Aircraft in the future. Mr. Pino
utilizes his charismatic leadership skills at all hands meetings where he inspires and challenges
his employees to perform their best.
Effective organizational leaders and managers often brainstorm specific strategies that
will benefit the organizational culture of an organization, as well as the businesses’ profitability
as a whole. These strategies must be fully executable and measurable.
One such strategy is to implement one or more organizational controls. “Control is
defined as any process that directs the activities of individuals toward the achievement of
organizational goals. It is how effective managers make sure that activities are going as planned
(Thomas S. Bateman, 2009).” More specifically, a transformational leader may wish to
implement clan control into a suitable area of the company. Clan control is a way to empower
employees, and encourage them to make their own wise decisions without the constant scrutiny
of supervision. Within a well suited area, this control is effective in raising employee morale and
supporting a positive culture through the delegation of responsibilities. Implementing clan
control “does not mean giving up control. It means creating a strong culture of high standards
and integrity so that employees will exercise effective control on their own (Thomas S. Bateman,
A second strategy beneficial to organizational culture is the use of benchmarking.
Benchmarking is a business tool that allows managers to identify internal or external processes
that are best in class, and then adapt those processes to improve their own. “Most business
processes are common throughout industries. For example; NASA has the same basic Human
Resources requirements for hiring and developing employees as does American Express. British
Telecom has the same Customer Satisfaction Survey process as Brooklyn Union Gas. These
processes, albeit from different industries, are all common and can be benchmarked very
effectively (Authenticity Consulting, LLC, 2010).” Because process health is crucial to
organizational morale, process improvement by use of benchmarking is a dependable way to
improve organizational culture. Benchmarking allows management and employees to view how
other organizations perform processes successfully, therefore opening new doors and
encouraging “outside of the box” methods of thinking.
Sikorsky Aircraft regards benchmarking as an important business tool, and often uses it
to improve processes. One such example occurred on an aircraft assembly line, where
organizational leaders wished to improve the TAKT time of an airframe. Management chose to
benchmark the use of equipment to lift and manipulate large fixtures within Sikorsky’s sister
company, Pratt and Whitney. The results of their benchmarking allowed organizational leaders
within Sikorsky’s assembly line to improve air frame cycle time significantly
The Four Functions in Regards to a Healthy Organization Culture
A healthy organizational culture is supported by, and often achieved through foundations
built by the four functions of management. The four functions of management are a set of
fundamental principles that outline successful management. These principles include planning,
organizing, leading, and controlling. Experienced organizational leaders drive their business
using the four functions to ensure a successful and profitable organization. Processes that are
conceived and carried out via a formal system such as the four functions are likely to be less
prone to problems or failure. It can be said that management effectiveness and process health are
two factors crucial to organizational culture. Thus, the four functions as applied by
organizational leaders play a pivotal role in establishing healthy organizational culture.
Organizations often cannot reach true success without the hard work and dedication of
their employees. It is left to organizational leaders, however, to drive such organizations toward
the right direction. True leaders conceptualize a vision and goals for their organization, before
continuing to overcome obstacles in order to acquire those goals. Management skills can be
taught in a classroom, but what makes a great leader, one truly must be born with.
Authenticity Consulting, LLC. (2010). Overview of Benchmarking. Retrieved March 1, 2010, from Free
Management Library: http://managementhelp.org/quality/bnchmrkg/bnchmrkg.htm
Sikorsky Aircraft. (2010). Sikorsky Aircraft Main Website. Retrieved March 1, 2010, from Sikorsky Aircraft
Main Website: www.sikorskyaircraft.com
Thomas S. Bateman, S. A. (2009). Management: Leading & Collaborating in a Competitive World, Eighth
Edition. McGraw-Hill, a business unit of the McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.