Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Are You Managing or Leading Your Organization Through Tough Times?

Most organizations have managers that can maintain present operations and fix problems when they arise. Good managers excel in handling day to day operations efficiently and effectively. However, even when management is effective, there may be a void in leadership which prohibits an organization from truly thriving. Many make the common mistake of assuming that all individuals in positions of authority operate as leaders. This assumption can often lead to frustration for frontline workers, middle level management, and other stakeholders in the community.

Both the role of manager and leader are critical to the successful operation of an organization, yet their functions are quite different.  It is important for those in authority within an organization to understand the distinct differences between management and leadership. Managerial functions center on directing and controlling the work of a group of individuals. Managers ensure that a job gets done and done well. Leadership, on the other hand, has its emphasis on influence, vision, and change. Influence is the ability to affect someone else’s thinking or actions. Leaders in organizations exercise this influence in their ability to cast vision and create change. They are forward thinkers and are able to advance an organization by working with others to create a shared vision that organizational stakeholders can rally to support. Leadership in today’s not-for-profit organizations is critical for their continued growth, development and successful service.

Aaron Metzcar, Ed. D is Associate Director for Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership at Indiana Wesleyan University. IWU now offers a Master of Arts with a major in Organizational Leadership that can be completed in as little as 23 months. FMI

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