It has been said that leaders do the right thing and managers do things right. While this is a subtle distinction between leaders and managers, in business, it can be the determining factor between failure and success. Unfortunately, it is one that often goes disregarded. Typically, the term management refers to the actions involved in four common functions of business: planning, organizing, leading and coordinating of resources. In order to better recognize and fully appreciate the functions of a manager and how they operate, one must first understand what the basic functions of management are.
Whether the system is an organization, department, business or project, the planning process typically includes similar activities that are carried out in some sort of sequential order. Often, a plan is implemented in a cautious and well defined manner. Part of the planning process involves some sort of organizational behavior. Organizing is typically viewed as activities utilized in an effort to collect and configure resources in order to implement plans in an efficient fashion. The role of an organizer involves a broad set of activities, and is often though of as one of the major functions of a successful manager. Organization can span many aspects of business.
While organization plays a crucial role within the management ranks, leadership and the ability to lead people must not be taken for granted. A leader can be thought of as someone who provides direction in an effort to influence people to follow a certain direction. Managers are individuals who are able to motivate by using a variety of well established methods such as facilitation, coaching, mentoring, directing, and delegating. Managers that have the ability to lead do so with a wide variety of styles. A great leader must be able to evaluate his or her resources and leverage them accordingly.
In today’s business market, managers are in high demand. The world has an endless amount of work to be done and needs all the help it can get; however, one must remain cognizant of the fact that management is not simply a job, but rather an art form. Globally, people can be managed in a similar fashion. The skills of a superior manager remain the same across board. If one can master the four management functions of planning, organizing, leading and coordinating of resources, their opportunities are endless.