What Is The Good Manager Management Essay


Nowadays, the globalization has a juggernaut impact on many fields of our lives that nobody can be immune. That makes the new economic environment become much more challenging for the organizations. (Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/2157973) We are now living in the century of changes. With the shifting of powers between the West and the East, the great evolution of new technology, the appearance of emerging economies and enterprises all over the word, the changing economic zone, etc...have changed market places day by day. (http://leadershipwatch-aadboot.com/2011/07/27/leading-change-how-great-leaders-deal-with-criticism/

Therefore, the ability to handle these complex and interrelated issues become the key competitive advantage of any organizations. (Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/2157973)

 The workforce now is diversity than ever. People in working environment today want to be influenced without formal authority. (http://www.leadershipnow.com/) Leaders are now dealing with quick change, and with information and communication channels that are easier to access, more rapidly and more extensive than ever before. Leaders are exposed to outside influences and pressures that are less expected and more quickly come and go. Change in leading style requires leaders to deal with the higher level of complexity.



What is the leader?

Leadership is considered as the ability to guide and motivate a group of people to a common purpose (Bruce Bagley). As a leader, a person should have the clear vision as well as the wide knowledge, a commitment and a power to reach that vision, and the abilities to make it happen. Having a realistic vision and sharing it with others who take it as their own goals is the key of the leader’s success (Edward Bope).

The leader can know what the problem that needs to be fixed is or a goal to be achieved. It might be the thing that nobody else realizes or something that no one else wants to undertake. Having a vision is not enough. In fact, many people could see things that should be done, the problems that should be fixed. But what makes leaders different from others is that they really have action. They take action to achieve their vision because they actually have a real passion, some senses of commitment or an inner sense of drive to let leaders move through all the difficulties.

Leaders do not have subordinates. In fact, the leaders in some organizations do have subordinates because they are also managers. But when they want to lead people, they have to give up official power since leading means having followers. Following is always a voluntary activity.

Trait and skills of the leader

Traits of the leader

Some people are born with characteristics of the leader. Others have to develop them day by day to become leaders. There are many things you can do if you want to be a leader.

Some essential traits of a leader are as followed:

Honesty: Display sincerity, integrity, and candour in all actions. Deceptive behaviour will not inspire trust.

Competent: Decided actions should be based on reason and moral principles. Decisions bases on emotional wishes or feelings should be avoided.

Forward-looking: As a leader, a person must have a future view or a vision. The vision must be passed through the organization.

Inspiring: The leaders have the confident in all action. By showing physical and mental patience, leaders will inspire and influent people. The leaders are also willing to take charge when necessary.

Intelligent: Leader is the person that have the large knowledge come from intensive reading, studying and valuable experiences.

Fair-minded: Leader treats fairly to all people. Unfairness is the enemy of justice. Leader displays understanding by being sensitive to the feelings, interests, values and well-being of others.

Broad-minded: Leader always seeks out for diversity.

Courageous: Leaders have the determination to accomplish a goal, regardless of many difficulties.

Straightforward: They know how to use judgment to make good decisions at the right time.

Imaginative: They make timely and appropriate changes in thinking, plans, and methods. They are creativity of thinking for new and better ideas, seeking for solutions to the problems.

(Bennis, W.2009)

Leadership Skills

Beyond the personal traits of a leader, there are specific skills must be mastered to become a leader.

Effective communication: Leaders are people with good communication skill. Listening is a very important skill for the leaders. By listening, the leader could understand the strength and weakness of group members, collect different ideas and opinions. Leader listens to all the debate and then find the common path for the common goal.

Motivation: A leader has to be able to motivate everyone to contribute. Every person has a different "button". A leader knows how to press on the right buttons of everyone to motivate and inspire them, make them really want to do their best to achieve the common goal of the group.

Planning: The leader has a plan to achieve the goal. The clear plan helps to keep everyone moving together toward the common goal.

Leadership style

Although the further research has cited more specific leadership styles, there are still three main styles of leadership that were established in 1939 by psychologist Kurt Lewin as followed:

Authoritarian Leadership (Autocratic)

Authoritarian leaders, also identified as autocratic leaders, give clear expectations for what needs to do, when and how it should be done. There is also an obvious separation between the leader and his followers. Autocratic leaders make decisions by themselves with little or no contribution from others. Because of that, the decision-making was less creative. This style of leadership is suitable for the situations where there is lack of time for group decision-making or where the leader is the most knowledgeable person in the group.

Participative Leadership (Democratic)

Participative leadership, also called as democratic leadership, is commonly the leadership style that is most effective. Participative leaders offer direction to the followers, but they also take part in the group and agree to get contribution from others. Democratic leaders promote followers to participate, but maintain the final opinion over the decision-making process. By doing that, the leader let members feel engaged in the process; therefore they are more enthused and creative.

Delegative (Laissez-Faire) Leadership

Laissez-Faire leaders offer small or no direction to group members. The decision-making depends on group members. This leadership style can be useful in the group whose members are highly skilled but it can leads to weakly defined roles and not much motivation



Definition of manager

A manager is the person in charge of planning and directing the work of a group of people. Manager monitor work of subordinates and take action to correct the problems when necessary. (http://management.about.com/od/policiesandprocedures/g/manager1.htm)

Managers are defined as the people who have subordinates. Managers have a position of authority given by the company. Their subordinates work for them and largely do what they are told. Management style is transactional. In that case, the manager tells the subordinates what to do, and the subordinates do their mission because they have been promised a reward for doing so. Managers are also paid to get things done. They are also subordinates of the company.

The managers must be familiar with the mission of all the group members that they supervise, but they do not need to be the best in all areas. It is more important for the manager to know how to manage the subordinates than how to do their jobs well.


Functions of management

The most widely accepted functions of management are namely Planning, Organizing, Staffing, Directing and Controlling.


It is the one of the basic functions of management. Planning is an efficient thinking about ways for achievement of pre-determined goals. Planning is essential to make sure appropriate using of human and non-human resources.


It is the process of combining human resources, physical, financial and building productive relationship amongst them to get organizational goals. Organizing involves:


It means that the managers will do the job analysis. Base on the analysis, they will do recruitment and selection people for appropriate positions.


Managers will determine what tasks must be done and get subordinates doing it.

Direction has following elements:

Supervision: managers supervise and direct subordinates.

Motivation: managers inspire or encourage the subordinates to work with passion. Monetary or non-monetary rewards may be used for this purpose.

Leadership: manager guides and influences the subordinates in doing tasks for the common goal.

Communications: it is the process of transferring information, experiences and opinions from one person to another. It is crucial for understanding.


The purpose of controlling is to ensure that everything goes in the right direction.


(Given by KOONTZ and O’DONNE)

Good managers will help organizations get the competition and success because they could provide necessary on ground information to the top management. This information is very important for creating the strategy of the organisation.


Leader vs management

The difference between leadership and management is the question that has asked many times and also answered in different ways. In the book "On Becoming a Leader", Warren Bennis cited some critical differences between a leader and a manager.

1. The leader innovates whereas the manager administers. 

The leader is always the person who comes up with the new ideas and moves the group into a forward-thinking point. In order to develop new strategies and tactics, leader always has to keep his eyes on the horizon. He also needs to have the knowledge of the latest trends and skills.

On the contrary, a manager maintains what has already been established. Managers have to keep their eyes from the bottom line and keep control within the organization. Managers understand the people who work beside them; therefore they will know which person is the best choice for specific tasks (Bennis, W., 2009).

2. The leader inspires trust whereas the manager relies on control.

Wade explained that a leader is person who inspires others to become their best and knows how to properly set the rhythm and pace for the rest of the group. The leader creates a trust and inspires the followers. The trust will make the followers do follow the leader. It is very essential, especially if there are any sudden changes, because people still need to keep believing in the mission that they are doing (Bennis, W., 2009).

On the other hand, the function of the manager is to keep control over people by helping them build up their own assets and bringing out their greatest talents. To do this effectively, managers have to know the people and understand their interests and passions. The manager also use rewards such as money or promotion to encourage subordinates in doing job (Drucker).

3. The leader asks "what" and "why," whereas the manager asks "how" and "when." 

The leader asks "what" and "why" in order to know why certain actions happen, and sometimes this may be difficult and challenging.  Leaders ask for the lesson learning from failure experiences. Therefore, they will know how it helps the team to do better next time.

In contract, managers do not really think about the worth of failure. Their job is to ask "how" and "when" and ensure that the plan is accomplished accordingly. Managers know that orders and plans are essential and their task is to keep their vision on the current goals of the company.


Who becomes who?

There is still the debate on "the best managers are also the good leaders". Many people believe leaders are born to be leaders while management qualities can be trained.

According to Dr. Kotter, management is a set of familiar processes. Management helps organization to use its budget on producing the products and services with promised quality. Management is crucial for any organization, of any size. Management is not leadership. Leadership is completely different. Leadership is connected with directing an organization into the future and finding incoming opportunities. Leadership is about creating a clear vision. Leadership is not about attributes, it's about behaviour.


Another scholar, Jonathon Doh - Professor and Rammrath Chair at Villanova University, believes that the basic knowledge of leadership can be learned but if person wants to become the good leaders, they need more than just only the basic knowledge. They also need character, the right values and ethics. Leadership doesn't just require knowing the needed skills. It is about how to apply these skills effectively. This requires innate abilities of the leader. The innate abilities will help the leader feel optimistic and find the way to go through the sudden problems. The abilities also help leader predict the future which based on the past and present, therefore, they can find the opportunities for the organization.

Jonathon also cited that leadership and management are not the two concepts that can be interchangeable. Managers are in charge of daily work activities such as money, materials, paperwork, time, equipment, etc. Leaders are people who can influence, inspire and direct others. A good leader can learn how to become an effective manager but leadership is not always something that effective managers can learn.


Looking back to the history

Ho Chi Minh – the Father of Vietnam

There are many typical examples of the great leaders in the long history. One of them is Ho Chi Minh (19 May 1890 – 2 September 1969). Be considered as the father of Vietnam, he was the great leader that without him, the unified Vietnamese state would never have been achieved. Born and growing up in the difficult time of Vietnam, when the nation was colony of the French, Ho Chi Minh had a dream of helping his people to get independence. He kept his dream as a vision and tried to do his best to make it come true. Ho Chi Minh spent more than 30 years of his life living abroad, doing a lot of hard word for living. He looked for the way to help his nation out of the French control from learning the lessons of other countries. With the clear vision and large knowledge, Ho Chi Minh showed how to get independent for the Vietnamese that nobody did before. He created the trust among his people. Vietnamese trusted him and follow him. He knew how to motivate and inspire people by his passion, united the strength of individual to make the great power of the nation. By doing that, Vietnamese could win against the powerful France and America. Living and fighting for the nation voluntarily during his whole life, Ho Chi Minh had undoubtedly led his people through nearly 40 years of success, happiness and freedom. He created the united country that had not existed before and devising a Communist government to run it. Ho Chi Minh had never lost his vision and his goal of an independent Vietnam during his life. He has been the leader with very strong influence on Vietnamese until now. He is considered as the Father of Vietnam.


Andolf Hitler – a good manager with the power

Andolf Hitler (20 April 1889 – 30 April 1945) is considered as an example of good manager but not a great leader in the history of German. Hitler was very good at using people. He knew the strength of each individual; therefore, he could put them into the right position. He encouraged the people to recovery and built strength in the German economy after World War I. More jobs were created quickly. The number of unemployment fell dramatically from six million in 1932 to just only one million in 4 years later. Together with that, the GDP of German went up by double from 1932 to 1937. Hitler built one of the largest infrastructure improvements in the history of German, leading to the construction of railroads, dams, autobahns and other civil works.

Hitler viewed the government structure as a pyramid in which he was the dependable leader himself at the top. His management manner was to give conflicting missions to his subordinates. The subordinates were put into positions that their responsibilities and duties overlapped with those of others. And by doing that, Hitler fostered distrust, competition, and infighting among his subordinates in order to strengthen and maximise his own power. Hitler used his power to control the people. Positions in the party were not determined by public elections. He made all the most important decisions of the military personally. After all, his action led German to the World War II that affected all over the word. Because of that, he was considered as good manager, but never as a great leader.

Lee Kuan Yew – the typical example of good manager and great leader

In the history, there are still some people that are either good manager or great leader, and Lee Kuan Yew is one of them. Lee Kuan Yew (born Harry Lee Kuan Yew, 16 September 1923) was the first Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore and maintains this position for more than three decades. He is also widely known as the founding Father of modern Singapore. Lee Kuan Yew has many crucial characteristics of the leader: a strong presence, the huge knowledge, the intelligence, valuable experiences, the clear good and vision, the determination, the patience and an excellent communication skill (House , K., 2013).

During three decades in which Lee governed, Singapore economy grew up rapidly. At the beginning as a shipping port, Singapore became one of the most developed nations in Asia. Singapore was also one of the richest, safest and most orderly countries in the world although it is a country with small size of population, very limited land space and lack of almost important kinds of natural resources.

Lee is considered as a charismatic leader with masterful communication skill. He created and gained the trust from his people. Proving by what he did, people believed in what he promised. He understood and appreciated what his people want. By listening carefully to his people, Lee could pay his attention insight the concerns, the problems and requirements, and therefore, he could decide what action to take. It is crucial for the leader, especially in a democratic society, because if Lee just did what he wanted and ignored the others’ needs, he would easy lose the trust from others and link to the lost of his power. Lee worked hard together with his party member in order to achieve their common goals which are freedom, better living and peace.



There are still many debates on the management and the leadership from the past until now. Many people believe that they are different while the others think that they are two notions that can be used interchangeably. But it cannot be denied that both manager and leader have played an important role, not just only in business, but also in many fields of the society. "The manager does things right while the leader does the right thing". In the new society, with the impacts of globalization, the workforce and the working environment have changed. Management is not as simple as before. Using power to manage might become unsuitable. People now want a two- way communication. They want to be listened to, discuss and share the opinions together. Therefore, leading would become a new trend in the business instead of management. But management could not be replaced all by leadership because it is still essential for daily task, especially in some unique working environment and cultures. By looking at many examples from the history, it is can be said that "The best managers are also leaders", we can do both but it take long time for us to cultivate it. (Wade)