The Gaps Between Leadership and Management.

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The Gaps Between Leadership and Management.
Elizabeth Korasare, CEO, Ghana

Leadership and managerial challenges facing the engineering department of ABC Limited.

Leadership, one of the core functions of the management process, is defined as the ability to conceive a clear vision, share the vision and lead other people to achieve the vision. According to Schermerhorn (1996), leadership is the process of arousing people’s enthusiasm to work hard and direct their efforts to fulfill plans and accomplish objectives.
Management on the other hand is the process of working with people and resources to achieve organizational goals. Grace Hooper a management expert, says: “you manage things; and lead people”. It has become very necessary in today’s workplaces for managers to be leaders, by developing their capabilities to succeed as leaders and helping others to do the same.
This assignment is based on a case study of ABC limited.

Five leadership challenges facing ABC Limited identified are as follows:
1. Lack of clear vision.
2. The company’s systems and operational procedures are obsolete.
3. Lack of clear job description and defined scope of work.
4. No room for creativity and innovation.
5. Lack of administrative support.

Five managerial challenges identified are:
1. Lack of planning of work processes.
2. Lack of coordination among departments.
3. Deficiency in organizing work processes.
4. Lack of effective leadership.
5. Inefficiency of the engineers.

The engineers were hired to handle the technical task of the company, yet they spent so much time writing reports. It is obvious that the purpose for which they were employed was defeated because the company did not make room for the optimal utilization of their skills and demanded reports for which there were no outputs. There was enormous bureaucracy in the system which blurred the vision of the company.
The company operated on obsolete systems and followed the status quo. It made no room for changes. Rules regarding report writing were mandatory, unnecessarily over tasked the engineers. It was obvious that the reports were not important after all but management overlooked them. The system was very obsolete and the operational procedures were not flexible.
The job description or terms of reference was also not very clear to the engineers.
There seemed not to be any room for creativity before John Terril joined the company to turn things around.
The engineering department was also without administrative support therefore the engineers had to spend precious time generating their reports and account for the monies spent.
One of the managerial challenges identified is a lack of planning. The company’s activities had not been well planned to make room for the actual business and also for report writing. Planning is very necessary. It helps to specify the goals to be achieved and put in place the appropriate actions required to achieve the goals. Reports are very necessary for evaluation and review of any work process, however, this should not occupy so much time of the staff.
The company had not implemented any business strategy to coordinate the accounts of the engineering departments to make reporting and accounting procedures more flexible.
Performance standards are not very clear since the leadership concerned itself with reports and not the actual work. It is therefore clear that the above challenges existed because the company placed a high premium on qualification and high remuneration and uses that alone as the measure of efficiency.

The solutions identified to support this assignment are as follows:
ABC Limited needs an effective and inspirational leader to lead the team. One of the immediate challenges for the new leader will be to reposition ABC Limited as a modern professional organization. To be able to achieve this, the new management would have to introduce performance and change management concepts in the company to align the team towards their core functions and corporate objectives.
Under change management, the company would have to be prepared to assume a new approach to work that will challenge staff to be proactive and question the status quo. It would also enable them to do an objective assessment of work processes and recommend more efficient ways of improving upon the job. Additionally, they would be deeply involved in the decision-making processes about things that affect their work.
As part of the re-branding of the company, the physical image of the organization would have to be changed. This may cost financial resources, but it is very necessary. Their work tools have to be replaced by modern ones. It is recommended that a reporting software that is simple and system generated and easy to analyze be acquired. It would help to remove the stress and frustrations the engineers currently undergo to generate reports which indeed were not required. Such a system will help the company to save time and money.
Finally, it would be very essential for the engagement of an administrative/accounts officer to handle financial and clerical/ administrative roles of the engineering department.
In conclusion, to make the changes to the system work, management must be committed and have the courage and the will power to effect changes and make the system work.

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