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A Leader Is? Essay

1070 words - 5 pages

There are varying interpretations of the differences between leaders and managers. Many people say that they are quite similar while other say they are not even in the same league. The latter definition is quite accurate according to Marlene Caroselli’s Leadership Skills for Managers. Mangers are known as people who direct workflow and manager what people do and when they do it. As liaisons between employees and upper management, their responsibilities do not end with just what work is done. They are responsible to employees and “wear many different hats” (Caroselli, p. 2, 2000). Leaders on the other hand are different breed of people. The basic definition of a true leader is someone who ...view middle of the document...

A famous picture shows his walking onshore with his soldiers during an assault on Leyte Landing on 20 October 1944 (Holzimmer, 1995). This exemplifies him as a visionary leader because it showed his soldiers firsthand that he was there instead of staying behind the scenes, which seemed to be the precedent for military generals at the time.
Leader as a Problem Solver
People who are in leadership positions are often put there for numerous reasons. The military uses a combination of competence as well as time in service. You can have the possibility of your first line supervisor being 21 years old with three years in service or close to 40 years old with 10 years of service holding the same rank. On paper, these leaders hold the same rank, are paid similarly, and are expected to hold the same level of competence. As employees in corporations move up the career ladder, they are expected to have attained a level of competence to solve problems of the subordinates under their charge. Being a problem solver in a leadership position is not merely making a few phone calls and asking someone else for the answer. Problem solving is a higher level of thinking that involves looking deeper than what is truly being asked. (Roussell, 2013)
An example is a food service worker stating that they are slowing running out of a particular product and that there are not enough supplies to cover the store for the day. Most people would hear that problem and immediately converge on the idea that they need to get more of the product because they want to satisfy the customers and make a profit. A leader would ask, “Why is this particular product selling so quickly? Is it superior to all of the other products or are all the other products so inferior that this product is the only viable option?” A leader has to think on multiple planes to solve the immediate problem as well as a potential long-term problem. It is not about finding the right answer but asking the right questions of why the problem occurred in the first place and how to prevent future instances of the problem....

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