Leaders & Managers Essay Examples

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Leader vs Manager Paradox

leadersLeadership is a skill that focuses on achieving set goals of a certain group. This keeps the team motivated and empowered in achieving the set tasks and goals. Leadership aims at getting the best out of the individual team, members for the benefit of the team’s success in achieving the goals. In a team, members expect leaders to lead by examples. Leading by example in a team setting aims at creating a conducive environment for the success of the team.

Successful leadership involves the following: vision (focusing on the long term goals of the team), listening (being able to listen and responding quickly to the instructions), having a strong teamwork and cooperation within the team, having strong relationships in the team and ensuring the teamwork balances, inspiration of the team members in responding to the set tasks and willingness to hard work in achieving the goals of the team, teaching and coaching which involves introducing team members to their individual tasks and giving them freedom to learn and grow while carrying out their activities in the team, and lastly motivation, which entails empowering team members to challenge the set norms (Obolensky, 2010).

In addition, as a successful leader in a team setting, mentoring is a critical skill. It involves parting knowledge and relevant wisdom to team members and as well to the overall team. Therefore, leadership involves focusing on the individual team members and performance of the team.

On the other hand, management is skill focusing on the work and tasks in an organization. Unlike leadership, management focuses on taking account on the available resources in an organization or team setting. The lying distinction between management and leadership is managing resources in a team. Management includes the following activities: planning (this aims at achieving goals and objectives of the team), coordinating (directing tasks), ensuring that there is effective use of resources, decision making and as well problem solving which aims at eliminating individual challenges faced in a team (Obolensky, 2010).

Therefore, management focuses on the contributing factors in achieving goals unlike leadership, which involves with individual team members. Another difference between managers and leaders is the manner in which the styles motivate their team member and as well the overall team in achievement of goals. Leaders set goals and act as spearheaders of the team challenging the status quo. On the other hand, managers have a role of maintaining the status quo of the team. There are different theories and styles of leadership. The essay will focus on leadership theories used in a team (Obolensky, 2010).

As stated earlier, there are different theories applied in leadership. These theories are aims at taking into account the different styles used in leading a team and as well focuses on the performance of a team. On the other hand, there are different styles used in leadership. The different styles used in leadership focuses on getting the tasks of a team being done. They highlight the different methods used by leaders to have the tasks done. Both styles and theories applied in leadership are inter-related. Therefore, in successful leadership, both styles and theories used have an impact on the performance of the team (Farson, 1997).

While leading a team, in order to efficiently elicit others a willingness to follow from me, I would use situational theory of leadership. This theory will gives the leader the best course of action depending on the situational variables (Visser, 2011). Through this theory, I will be able to adjust the leadership theories depending on the changing situations in the team. While leading a team where team members are more knowledgeable in carrying out a given task, this theory will enable me as a leader to use democratic theory in leading the team.

Therefore, in such a case, individual team members will have the opportunity to contribute directly in leading the team. On the other hand, while dealing with a team where as a leader am more knowledgeable than individual team members, situation theory gives me as a leader a chance to alter with the leadership used in the team. In this case, authoritarian style will be most applicable in leading the team. In this setting, I will be involved in decision making and as well in leading the team directly while carrying out the tasks (Obolensky, 2010).

Situation theory of leadership is applicable in different teams. This theory as stated earlier gives the leader chances of altering the team’s styles of carrying out activities aiming at improving the team’s effectiveness. I chose this theory in my leadership setting since it gives me an opportunity to implement other leadership theories (Quinn, 1991). Through situation theory of leadership, implementing other theories such as participative theories will be possible. Participative theory of leadership suggests that an ideal leadership setting is one that takes into account the input of team members into account (Farson, 1997).

Through this theory, when leading a team, they will be elicited to follow me since I will be taking into account their efforts in leadership and as well will their individual contribution to leadership makes them feel relevant and committed in decision making of the team. Unlike other theories, situation theory of leadership allows the leaders to have a direct interrelationship with their team members. In addition, the theory gives the leader privileged rights of allowing input of others in leadership (Visser, 2011).

Other than using theories while leading a team, I will also use democratic leadership style. This style has a bottom-top approach. Through this style, team members will be elicited to follow me since they will have an opportunity in decision making. On the other hand, through this style, there will be empowerment of team members to establish goals. On the other hand, they will have an opportunity to evaluate their own performance through their individual goals. This leadership skill allows for the flow of information up the chain of command from the individual team members. This skill enlightens individual members to follow me as a leader since their contribution in leadership will be significant and as well improves their commitment to the team’s goals through their individual performance evaluation (Quinn, 1991).

In a team faced by complex problems, this leadership style is applicable as it promotes cooperation between team members (Farson, 1997). I chose this leadership style since it gives individual team members a chance to contribute directly to attainment of the goals of the organization. While leading my team using this style, the cost of making wrong decisions reduces since the consultation while making decisions improves. Eliciting members to follow me as a leader while using this style will be possible. This will be through the direct interaction used in decision making and as well while performing tasks. Both theory and style used in this case will elicit a willingness to members to follow me by making them active participants in decision making (Obolensky, 2010).

While aiming at eliciting willingness from others to follow me as a leader, I would use relationship theory of leadership. This focuses on the relationships between leaders and their followers. As a leader, I will have an opportunity to motivate and as well inspire members. This will be through helping members see the importance and the higher group of the task they engage in (Visser, 2011). Through this theory, focusing on individual performance will be easier and as well possible. This theory will assist members in developing their individual willingness to follow me following the inspiration of realizing their potentials through the theory. This theory will assist me as a leader to lead by examples (Quinn, 1991).

Members will have an opportunity of learning morals and ethics from me as their leader and as well will have opportunities of developing their personal potentials. This theory links with the managerial theory where as a leader I will be involved with the supervision of the individual tasks. In addition, members will have an opportunity of realizing their personal goals. Attaining this will be through correcting their personal mistakes once they are detected. On the other hand, rewarding the members motivates them to have a greater input to the team. Therefore, members in my team will be elicited to follow me as their leader in order to be rewarded once they achieve their personal goals (Obolensky, 2010).

While using the theory stated above, in order to elicit willingness of members to follow me as their leader, I will use transformational leadership style. Through this style, I will lead the members by example. As a leader, I will lead by inspiring team members. This will be through enlightening them on the different methods of reaching excellence. Through this style, I will implement change in the members making them passionate and energetic in carrying out their personal tasks.

Transformational leadership style aims at projecting strong belief in attaining team objectives of the team and as well promoting cooperation among team members (Farson, 1997). Therefore, while using this style, members will have the opportunity of learning from the leader. I choose this style in eliciting willingness from members to follow me as a leader since the style provides an opportunity of conversing ideas and as well if there is a need of changing the methods of carrying out a given task (Quinn, 1991).

As from the paper, it is quite clear that the choices of the leadership style and theory use by a leader are dependent on situations and aims of the leader. On the other hand, cooperation of team members is dependent on the leadership skills applied by the leader. Therefore, a leader plays a significant role in the performance of the team. Changes in a team are dependent on leadership style and theory used in leadership.

A successful team can be described as a team where the theory and style applied are not conflicting (Quinn, 1991). While aiming at eliciting members to follow from you, situation theory is applicable since it gives the leader an opportunity to alter the styles used in the team depending on the situations faced by the team. Similarly, while aiming at eliciting willingness from others to follow the leader, relationship and managerial theories are applicable. This also applies to styles used by leaders (Obolensky, 2010).

Obolensky, N. (2010). Complex adaptive leadership: Embracing paradox and uncertainty. Farnham, England: Gower.
Quinn, R. E. (1991). Beyond rational management: Mastering the paradoxes and competing demands of high performance. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Visser, M., & Palgrave Connect (Online service). (2011). The female leadership paradox: Power, performance and promotion. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.
Crowell, D. M. (2011). Complexity leadership: Nursing's role in health care delivery. Philadelphia, PA: F.A. Davis.
Barker, A. M. (1992). Transformational nursing leadership: A vision for the future. New York: National League for Nursing Press.
Farson, R. E. (1997). Management of the absurd: Paradoxes in leadership. New York: Touchstone.


Leadership and Image

leadershipLeaders should be confident about their age; they should not try to look older or even look younger. They should accept that they are aging, and they should do it gracefully. It is not all about dressing; it is also about confidence. One should be confident of the age that he or she possesses. For example, the story of Mary Ann, a woman who stepped back from her career due to medical challenges. When she returned to the workplace, she looked beaten down just at the age of fifty-six. The fact that she did not have confidence in herself made her look like a woman that was in her mid seventies. All she needed was confidence, and for her to dress her age, she did not need to look like she was in her thirties, she needed to look her age; fifty-six.

After regaining her confidence, she looked like she was exactly fifty-six. Therefore, it is imperative to understand that a leader should be able to look her age and act confidently in her age. One should not aspire to look older or even look younger, there are certain people that try too hard, and it is evident by all that they are trying too hard to look younger. Mike Jeffries is an example of a leader that tries too hard to look younger. He has refused to age gracefully and often undergoes several plastic surgeries in order to buffer up his image and try to look younger. Therefore, it is extremely essential for any leader, young or old to behave and act his age as this will not only be good for his or her appearance but also for his confidence.

Leaders should be confident in regards to their gender. Most corporate women often feel the need and pressure to dress as their male counterparts in order to be respected. Telecommunications firm 02 did a research that suggested that the lack of female role models at top of business was to blame for the women not dressing according to their gender. Many women still feel the need and pressure to conform to the outdated system of male dominated society at the workplace. Women feel that if they dress more masculine, they will be taken more seriously at the workplace. People at the workplace should be encouraged to dress appropriately according to their genders.

Dressing according to one's gender not only makes a diverse workforce, but also, it makes a lot of business sense. Women should be able to appreciate their feminine features and dress accordingly. Men should also dress in the right manner and should try hard not to exaggerate their masculinity.

It is imperative to understand that it does not mean that women in the corporate world should not wear pantsuits as they originated from a masculine background. There are women such as Hilary Clinton, who have tried not to push hard their wardrobe and wear clothes that over-exaggerate their feminism. Women should be able to choose pieces that despite originating from a masculine wardrobe make them feminine, professionally and they should be age appropriate.

The rules do not change, and one should be able to live according to his gender, sexual orientation or even disability. Despite the specifics such as weight, age, gender and sexuality one should be able to confident about him or herself if they want to be leaders. This is because people do not listen to somebody who is unsure of themselves. One should never let his or her sexual orientation be a topic. For example, Jasper is gay, and he celebrates his gayness by conforming to the various stereotypes associated with being gay. He dressed flamboyantly more often in yellow shirts, green pants and orange loafers.

He went ahead and even mentioned his sexual orientation in his LinkedIn profile. However, one has to ask a question, what being gay has to do with one's profession. Most people do not care about one's sexual orientation, and one cannot be promoted because of his or her sexual orientation but rather one is promoted because of the skills and the experience that one possesses. In fact, in modern advanced countries sexual orientation is slowly becoming less of an issue and many leaders that are gay are being accepted in the society. Leaders should be able to understand that they are often role models in the society. They should act in a way that shows that they know what they are doing, and this comes from confidence.

It is of the essence to understand that the rules do not change when it comes to gays. They have to dress appropriately and maintain confidence in their age and sexuality. They should not be ashamed for whom they are, but rather they should be confident in themselves and not make their sexual orientation an issue. Leaders should try hard to overcome the stereotypes that pull them down and assume positions of leadership. If one wants something badly enough, one should do everything that it takes in order to get there.


Giusto, S. d. (2013). The Image of Leadership. New York : Sage.