Command, Leadership or Management? An Enigmatic Triad

ABOUT THIS CONTENT
The purpose of this article is to analyze the so-called differences between Command, Leadership and Management (CLM), see whether these differences are a reality or are mere perceptions, and come out with a true understanding of these vital aspects of professional excellence. This may help professionals in understanding and practicing their roles creatively and effectively. Let us first analyze the debate on differences between Leadership and Management.

By: Cdr (Retd) Iftikhar Ahmed Khan Pakistan Navy
M Sc (Strategic Studies), MBA (HRM)
E-Mail: ift.khan@yahoo.com
24 May 2014

Introduction

‘Command, Leadership and Management’ is a widely discussed topic in military as well as in corporate sectors. However, the emphasis on the individual areas varies with sectors. In the world outside Military, the debate is relatively focused towards differences between Leadership and Management whereas Command is cast aside as being a military thing. On the other hand, the Military world owns Command and Leadership but gives a cold shoulder to Management as being something for and from corporate world. The existing military literature on this discussion is the confirmation of this assertion. Common to both the sectors is Leadership, albeit surrounded by confusions and misperceptions.

This ‘differences paradigm’ has blurred the situation and has cast dense fog over understanding of these vital aspects in the minds of military commanders and professionals in corporate world. They are unsure as to what they actually are. Are they commanders and not managers, are they managers and not commanders, or are they leaders or not? Or, if they are commanders then what do they do different from leaders and managers, and if they are managers then what do they do different from leaders and commanders. Both the commanders and managers live with these blurred perceptions throughout their careers, defending their stance with vague logic and not seeing across the self-erected barrier.

The purpose of this article is to analyze the so-called differences between Command, Leadership and Management (CLM), see whether these differences are a reality or are mere perceptions, and come out with a true understanding of these vital aspects of professional excellence. This may help professionals in understanding and practicing their roles creatively and effectively. Let us first analyze the debate on differences between Leadership and Management.

Leadership v/s Management – A Puzzling Duo

The existing debate on differences between Leadership and Management is usually summarized in the following table (Table-1):[1]

LeaderManagement

Innovates

Administers

Develops

Maintains

Focuses on people

Focuses on system

Inspires

Controls

Long range perspective

Short range view

Does right things

Does things right

Table-1 – Leader – Manager Differences

These differences are supported and professed by renowned writers, professors and professionals. Their views on these differences are:

  • Fred Luthans, a distinguished management professor, says that one can be a leader without being a manager and be a manager without being a leader.[2]
  • Stephen Covey, a famous writer and author of ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People’, suggests that Leadership is not Management; Leadership has to come first and Management second and further adds that Management is a bottom-line focus whereas Leadership deals with top line.[3]
  • Stephen Covey adds that Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; Leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall.[4]
  • Warren Bennis, a famous organizational psychologist says, "The manager asks how and when, the leader asks what and why."[5]
  • Warren Bennis adds, "Leaders conquer the context – the volatile, turbulent and ambiguous surrounding that sometimes seem to conspire against us and will surely suffocate us if we let them happen – while Managers surrender to it."[6]
  • Andrew J. DuBrin (2013) says that leadership deals with the interpersonal aspects of a manager’s job whereas Planning, Organizing and Controlling deal with administrative aspects. He has quoted John P. Kotter, a prominent leadership theorist, that managers must know how to lead as well as manage. Without being led and managed, organizations face threat of extinction.[7]

From this perspective, one is led to believe that leadership and management are two different and distinct concepts and practices. It seems that Leadership deals with people, and Management deals with systems, policies, procedures, rules, inventories and machines. The impression also emerges that Leader sits at the top and works in the futuristic context whereas Manager is at a lower tier, works to efficiently achieve whatever has been directed by the Leadership and maintains status quo. This perception gives high undertones to Leadership and low undertones to Management or in other words, Leadership is something primary and high, Management is something secondary and low.

A critical analysis of above references reveals that even these prominent professors / practitioners have professed a varied and conflicting understanding of leadership. For example:

  1. If one can be a leader without being a manager and be a manager without being a leader (Luthans), then how would a leader get the answers to “how and when”, and how would a manager get the answers to “what and why” (Bennis), the two sets of essentially interdependent and interlinked questions that must be answered at the same level to come out with a viable, feasible and a sustainable course of action. Such a deficient leader or a manager remains handicapped, is dependent on others for achieving the aim and is potentially very harmful for the organization.
  2. If leadership deals merely with interpersonal aspects of a manager’s job (DuBrin) then when would leaders deal with top line focus (Covey) and when would leaders ask what and why (Bennis); aspects that are much more than merely dealing with interpersonal aspects of an organization.
  3. If one can be a leader without being a manager and be a manager without being a leader (Luthans), then where is the place for assertion that managers must know how to lead as well as manage otherwise their organizations would face threat of extinction (Kotter).

Under the influence of this environment, backed by similar literature in most management books, young graduates and managers get totally bewildered and confused. They get easily carried away by these differences between leadership and management and adapt to their self-perceived roles accordingly in their professional lives. This approach leads professionals in management positions to believe that they have a different job than the leaders of their organization, they see very small role and room for them in so-called leadership functions, they resort to merely following what travels down from higher-ups, they simply cling to procedures and policies (typically the DOER approach), they focus more on maintaining status quo and less on change, they adopt a ‘things’ approach and ignore ‘humans’, they become more efficiency oriented and less development oriented.

Re-visiting Table-1 above, the following are the counter arguments to separation of Leadership and Management into two different columns (excerpt from author’s book ‘The Leadership Star‘):[8]

  1. If you do not know how to administer, your innovation may not be of any use, it may be too idealistic. An innovative idea detached from pragmatism of administration, is likely to turn into chaos rather than a success.
  2. If you cannot efficiently and effectively maintain something, there is no point in developing it as you will soon lose control over it and may not get the desired benefit. It may actually turn into havoc by developing in undesired directions.
  3. Becoming people focused is useless if you cannot design and run a good system which channelizes the skills and expertise of your people towards achievement of a common goal. An ineffective system which wastes peoples’ skills soon leads them to demotivation which no amount of people-focus can compensate.
  4. If you are unable to control and evaluate the activity for which you inspire your people, the failure to achieve desired results will frustrate your people and destroy that inspiration. They will not get inspired for any activity in future.
  5. If you have the long range perspective but lack the skills required for a short range view of details, the moment you take the first step towards the long range perspective, you are beaten back by immediate hurdles which you did not foresee as you were too busy in setting the long range goals. After all, every step of a ladder counts towards reaching the top of the wall.
  6. If you do not have the skills of executing and implementing a thing in the right way till its completion, there is no point in determining the right things. Right things will soon go down the drain if not handled in a right and logical manner.

The above arguments are very strongly supported by father of modern management, Peter Drucker (1974) who said that Managers have to balance the present against an uncertain and risky future, have to perform for the short-term and make their business capable of performance over the long-term, they have to be administrators, they have to create what is to be, they have to be entrepreneurs, risk-takers and innovators.[9]

These arguments necessitate that Leaders must have knowledge, skills and abilities highlighted in ‘Manager’ column else their leadership will never produce concrete results. And, Managers who do not have skills highlighted in ‘Leader’ column will soon drive their organizations into a standstill situation. Hence, the skills in the two columns are not options and cannot be segregated or left out for different people to perform. This also implies, skills in ‘Leader’ column are incomplete without those in ‘Manager’ column and vice versa. In other words, these skills must not be segregated into different columns but put in one column. However, not only misunderstood as different, the segregated concepts are even seen in practice in organizations. Adapted from John Adair (2003), three categories of organizations emerge out of the segregation paradigm (Fig-1):[10]


Fig-1 – Adapted from John Adair – Three Categories of Organizations

Where poor organizations see and expect different roles from their people, great organizations demand complete leadership role from every position, at different levels, and expect every manager to act as contributor towards forward movement. Their managers are not mere administrators, maintainers, controllers, system-oriented and locked to short range perspective, but innovators, developers, people-oriented and far-sighted as well. The result is a complete harmony resulting in a synergetic movement towards great heights. Where poor organizations blame ‘other’ factors for their failure, great organizations succeed on their inner strength.

Command v/s Leadership v/s Management – The Puzzle Completed

Military world is also under considerable influence of the segregation paradigm. As said earlier, military world owns Command and Leadership but gives little consideration to Management as being something alien and lower than the other two concepts. Let us look at some perceptions about Command, Leadership and Management in military literature.

  • Dr. Stephen Bungay, Director of the Ashridge Strategic Management Centre, Ashridge Business School, in his article "An Executive’s Trinity: Management, Leadership – and Command"[11], says that duties and responsibilities of Command involve setting direction and the skills required are primarily intellectual, Management is about providing and controlling the means of following the direction therefore it is less conceptual than the work of Command, Leadership is a moral and emotional activity, a leader has to motivate and inspire followers so that they are willing to go in the required direction and perform their own tasks better. He adds that Leadership is a personal thing which has to be authentically grounded in the personality of each individual. But he also professes that leaders have to achieve the task, build and maintain the team, and develop the individuals. He suggests that every organization needs command, leadership and management, but at different positions i.e. ‘commander’ as CEO, ‘leader’ as COO and a ‘manager’ as a Director.
  • Major Dave Fielder, a Royal Marines liaison officer in 2010 in Baghdad, in his article "Defining Command, Leadership and Management Success Factors within Stability Operations"[12] quotes Major General Robison, former Commandant of the Commando Training Centre Royal Marines, who defines ‘Command’ as the power or authority earned by rank, position, experience, ‘Leadership’ as the art, the application of personal qualities, knowledge, skills, and behavior to influence and inspire others to succeed, ‘Management’ as the science, the application of the functions necessary to achieve the aim. Major Fielder adds that leadership qualities listed in the Royal Marine Officer Training Syllabus are judgment, bearing, willpower, integrity, intelligence, confidence, courage, and knowledge, Management functions are listed as planning, organizing, controlling, coordinating, supporting, communicating, evaluating, and encouraging.
  • Jones and Gosling (2005) quote Royal Navy First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Jonathon Band, who stated that Leadership is about instigating change and that Management is about maintaining the status quo. [13]
  • Australian Department of Defence book on Leadership (2007) says that although the terms of Command, Leadership and Management are closely related, each has a common purpose, which is accomplished in different ways. It adds that Command does not equate to Leadership and is wholly different from corporate Management. It says that Command is the authority bestowed on an appointment which provides legal authority to achieve a task, and that Leadership and Management are the two means through which the task is completed. It explains that Leadership involves inspiring and motivating people, while management deals with resources and processes necessary to plan organize, direct and control action. It adds that Management can be actioned without leadership; however, without leadership management becomes routine processes and administration, Management, of itself, does not motivate. The doctrine concludes that proficiency in all three functions will create success on the battlefield and a poor performance in any of the three functions could lead to failure.[14]
  • Leadership and Management Handbook (2003) of Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, defines Leadership as a blend of persuasion, compulsion, and example, a combination that makes individuals do what their commander wants of them, even when the task is not essentially to their liking.[15]

Under the influence of the literature like that quoted above, military officers wonder as to what they should do to become good Commanders. Put otherwise, they struggle to determine whether they should be Commanders, Leaders or Managers. Here is where they mostly get confused:

  1. If responsibilities of Command involve setting direction and Management is about providing and controlling the means of following the direction, then how can a direction be set without taking a detailed view of means available for implementing the direction? How can the ‘end’ be determined without considering the ‘means’? General Montgomery once telling the first rule of strategy said, ‘The Commander-in-Chief must be sure that what is strategically desirable is technically possible with resources at his disposal”.[16].
  2. If leadership is merely a moral and emotional activity, which is detached from other practical functions, then how come leaders also have to achieve the task, build and maintain the team, and develop the individuals. The first stance on leadership doesn’t go very well with the second one.
  3. If Command, Leadership and Management are required at different levels of an organization, (CEO, COO and Director), and Leadership revolves around morality, emotions, personality, then are these traits not required at the higher (CEO) and lower levels (Directors)? If Command (CEO) involves setting direction and Management (Director) is about providing and controlling the means of following the direction, then what is the role of a Leader (COO) sitting in between…a post office?
  4. If Command means only the power or authority earned by rank, position, experience, then what is the significance of this position without its essential linkage to achievement of the objective, aim, mission, etc.? If Leadership is the application of personal qualities, knowledge, skills, and behavior to influence and inspire others to succeed, then what are other aspects that are scientific and are labeled under ‘Management’?
  5. If Command is different from Management and is practiced by different persons at different levels, then are we saying that judgment, bearing, willpower, integrity, intelligence, confidence, courage and knowledge are not required at lower levels and planning, organizing, controlling, coordinating, supporting, communicating, evaluating and encouraging are not required at higher levels? If that is true then how one would explain the military concept of Commander’s Appreciation which takes into account all aspects of a campaign?
  6. If Management is about maintaining the status quo, then are we planning, organizing, staffing, controlling, coordinating, supporting, communicating, evaluating and encouraging people to maintain status quo? Is this what military organizations want from their officers? If Leadership is about instigating change then can we change something without planning, organizing, controlling, coordinating, supporting, communicating, evaluating and encouraging people? Change without these skills soon leads to chaos and anarchy.
  7. If Command is the authority bestowed on an appointment which provides legal authority to achieve a task, and the Leadership and Management are the two means through which the task is completed then how come Command is wholly different from corporate Management, where ‘corporate’ Management is nothing but planning, organizing, staffing, directing controlling, coordinating, supporting, communicating, evaluating and encouraging people to achieve the task?
  8. If management can be actioned without leadership, but without leadership, management becomes routine processes and administration, then is there any job which requires mere routine processes? If not, then are the leadership and management not inseparable? If they are inseparable, then is Management something ‘corporate’ and unwanted in military?
  9. If management, of itself, does not motivate then what else is done in the interpersonal role of a Manager, according to studies done by Mintzberg which say that the interpersonal role is one of the three overarching roles of a Manager?[17] Also, how would one deny the eight functions of managers which are Planning, Decision Making, Organizing, Staffing, Communicating, Motivating, Leading and Controlling?[18]

From most literature, it appears that Command is a formal military appointment, which requires directing, motivating and influencing subordinates to achieve a certain mission. It may be true in a limited sense as one of the meanings of Command is an appointment as head of a Unit, Organization or a Group. But a Commander is not just an appointment, he / she has to exercise Command in order to accomplish the mission, which requires skills like planning, directing, communicating, delegating, coordinating etc. Some think of Command as being autocratic and authoritarian, but the very concept of military planning process (Appreciation) negates autocracy and authoritarianism where a Commander has to sit and work with his / her staff for analyzing information and making decisions. Command is authoritarian when it comes to implementation of a plan, and it is not something negative as Selection and Maintenance of the Aim is the chief Principle of War.

It also seems that Leadership is something personal, emotional, moral and qualities-based. It appears that Leadership is still revolving around Trait Theory and later theories either do not exist at all or have failed to prove themselves. If Leadership is all about emotional sermons, personal charisma, qualities etc., then where is the place for Leadership functions? One cannot lead only by inspiration and role modeling, there has to be a strong foundation on which organizations survive and prevail. People do not get inspired and motivated for castles built in the air unless they see something tangible and achievable, and this tangible and achievable does not come solely from a leader’s personality but from other tangible things. If we are talking about leadership in an organization, then this inspiration will never come unless it is founded on a compelling vision, rational objective, viable strategy, sound plan, adequate resources, and when people see this strong foundation, only then they agree to work together as a team and only then they let leaders influence them and motivate them.

The literature suggests of Management as mere following and implementing what flows down from top, managing and using resources only to achieve objectives, a real status quo situation. But Management functions include Planning, Organizing, Staffing, Coordinating and Controlling, and above all getting all these done with and through people, which does require motivating and inspiring people. Therefore, Management is not something unemotional and Managers are not emotionless robots. A manager must set an overall direction for his / her department, set objectives to enhance productivity (add surplus), provide resources, communicate with people, coordinate activities, control, encourage teamwork instead of individualism, inspire and motivate people to work willingly to achieve objectives, must show integrity and honesty, must be courageous in making bold decisions, bold in accepting responsibility, must be decisive etc.

Command, Leadership & Management (CLM) – Solving the Triad Puzzle

In order to solve the complex puzzle and come out of a quagmire, we need a bi-pronged approach. First, to search for those definitions / perceptions which give a wholesome and a clear view of the three contestants i.e., Command, Leadership and Management, and second, to approach practitioners in different fields and find out what they actually do which is different from others and which compels us to put the three as distinct elements. As a first prong, let us look at those definitions / perspectives which give a clear and comprehensive view of the triad.

Command

Various military documents define Command as:

  • British Maritime Doctrine (2004) defines Command as the authority granted to an individual to direct, coordinate and control military forces. Control is the actual process through which the Commander organizes, directs and coordinates the activities of forces allocated to him[19].
  • NATO definition says that Command is the authority which a commander in the military Service lawfully exercises over subordinates by virtue of rank or assignment. It adds that Command includes the authority and responsibility for effectively using available resources, and for planning the employment of, organizing, directing, coordinating and controlling military forces for the accomplishment of assigned missions. It also includes responsibility for health welfare, morale and discipline of assigned personnel.[20]
  • US Air Force Doctrine Document says that Command and Control is the exercise of authority and direction by a properly designated commander over assigned and attached forces in the accomplishment of the mission. It adds that the process of command and control includes the planning, directing, coordinating, and controlling of forces and operations, whereas the system of command and control includes the personnel, equipment, communications, facilities, and procedures employed by a commander.[21]
  • Captain Stavridis USN and Vice Admiral Mack USN, in their book Command at Sea, refer to US Navy SORN (The Standard of Organization and Regulations of the US Navy) which sets forth the steps for Commanders to set up an organization and also occasionally review its validity; these are:[22]
  • Prepare a statement of objectives or of missions and tasks
  • Familiarize your key planners with the principles of organization
  • Group the ship’s functions logically so that they can be assigned to appropriate segments of the organization
  • Prepare manuals, charts and functional guides
  • Establish policies and procedures
  • Indoctrinate key personnel concerning their individual responsibilities
  • Set up control measures to ensure the achievement of your objectives

From these definitions, it is clear that:

  1. Command is a designated position
  2. Commander has legal authority over his / her subordinates
  3. Commander has a mission
  4. Commander has to plan, organize, direct, coordinate and control military forces to achieve the mission
  5. Commander employs personnel, equipment, communications, facilities, and procedures to exercise his command
  6. Commander is responsibility for motivation, health, welfare and discipline of assigned personnel

Management

Now, let us have a look at the definitions of Management and tasks of a Manager.

  • Pierce and Durham (1980) define Management as the process of Planning, Organizing, Directing, Controlling organizational resources in the pursuit of organizational goals.[23]
  • Robert Kreitner (2008) gives eight functions of managers; these are Planning, Decision Making, Organizing, Staffing, Communicating, Motivating, Leading and Controlling.[24]
  • Schermerhorn (2011) explains management functions as Planning, Organizing, Leading and Controlling.[25]
  • Samson and Daft (2012) define management as the attainment of organizational goals in an efficient and effective manner through Planning, Organizing, Leading, Controlling.[26]. They elaborate ‘Leading’ as use of influence to motivate employees to achieve organizational goals.
  • Andrew J DuBrin (2013) quotes Mintzberg in his book who listed ten roles of managers through his research; these roles are figurehead, spokesperson, negotiator, coach, motivator, team builder, team player, technical problem solver, entrepreneur, strategic planner and executor.[27]

From these definitions, it is clear that:

  1. Management is performed by a Manager, which is a designated position
  2. Designated position of a Manager gives legal authority over his / her people
  3. A Manager has organizational goals to achieve
  4. A Manager has to plan, organize, lead and control to achieve organizational goals
  5. A Manager employs personnel, equipment, communications, facilities and procedures to exercise his management
  6. A Manager is responsible for motivation, health, welfare and discipline of assigned personnel.

Leadership

Now let us have a look at some tasks and functions of a Leader.

  • John Adair has suggested three areas for a leader to perform i.e., Task, Team and Individual. Under these three areas, he has suggested eight functions to be performed by a leader; these are defining the task, planning, briefing, controlling, evaluating, motivating, organizing, and providing an example.[28]
  • Richard W. Leatherman has highlighted skills required by a leader. These skills include developing objectives for people, planning, establishing performance standards, delegation, problem solving, decision-making, managing time and developing employees.[29]
  • Jo Owen has listed 50 skills from 1000 leaders which include delegating, motivating, coaching, decision making, problem solving, negotiating, managing change etc.[30]

Though the majority of the literature depicts Leadership as different from Management, when it comes to listing what Leaders actually do in their leadership roles, most of the literature agrees to a similar set of skills. From the above literature and many similar sources, it can be concluded that:

  1. Leadership is not a title or a position but a role performed by anyone placed in charge of a team, department or an organization.
  2. In organizational terms, a person placed as in charge of a team, department or the organization, has legal authority over its members.
  3. A Leader has a mission / objectives to achieve.
  4. A Leader has to plan, organize, coordinate and control to achieve mission / objectives.
  5. A Leader needs personnel, equipment, communications, facilities and procedures to exercise his Leadership.
  6. A Leader is responsible for motivation, health, welfare and discipline of assigned personnel.

A quick glance at the roles, tasks and responsibilities of a Commander, a Manager and a Leader indicates that all three perform the same functions in their respective organizations. In this context, the roles, tasks and responsibilities of a Commander of a Military Unit are similar to those of a Manager in a corporate sector organization. The only difference lies in their physical bearing and appearance; a Military Commander appears to be authoritative, stern and forceful whereas a Manager seems to be participative, methodical, thorough and technical. This difference of appearance is not due to the difference in Command and Management but due to the nature of work environment. In Military, it’s not only the field commanders who are in ‘Command’ but the Commanding Officers of military hospitals, training centers, maintenance workshops, logistics depots, research organizations and schools are also in Command. A quick glance at these Commanders would tell the differences in their physical appearances, which is due to the nature of their work.

CLM – What Commanders and Managers Say – Survey

The aforementioned is what literature has to offer and guide us in gaining clarity over the endless debate on differences between Command, Leadership and Management. As a second prong of the effort to prove that the three are same and not different, a research was conducted which asked Military Commanders and Corporate Managers as to what tasks and functions they actually performed.

The questionnaire was administered to participants selected from random and accessible population from Military and Corporate world. The subject population of Military Commanders comprised Pakistan Naval and Army Officers of the ranks Lieutenant Colonel (Commander in Navy) and above who have commanded an Army Battalion or ships of the size of Destroyers / Frigates. The population of Corporate Managers comprised middle level Managers having on an average 10 – 15 years work experience at different levels in different organizations, and at present are serving in sectors like banking, oil & gas, telecommunications, food & beverages, pharmaceuticals etc.

The research was based on 16-statement questionnaire encompassing various functions and tasks usually performed by people in-charge of any organization. It was administered through e-mail due to long distances involved and travelling limitations. Participants were asked to reply to the given statements on Likert’s 5 point scale i.e. 5-Highly Agree, 4-Agree, 3-Neither Agree/Disagree, 2-Disagree, 1-Highly Disagree. For the sake of simple depiction and comparison, the result of the research is shown through clustered bar charts.


Fig-2 – Bar Graph-1

Fig-2 Bar Graph-1 contains responses on 13 statements that relate to various functions performed by individuals heading organizations / departments / teams:

  1. The means of responses from both Commanders and Managers are between 4 and 5 (i.e. Agree – Strongly Agree) on all the 13 statements which shows that both of them perform these functions in their jobs.
  2. The replies by both Commanders and Managers on all the 13 statements show that, while leading their departments / organizations, they perform all the tasks which are quite often listed separately in either Manager or Leader columns. They both have to plan, organize, coordinate and control, they have to maintain teams, develop and motivate people, chose the right people for the right task and display leadership qualities to effectively achieve organizational goals. This implies that these tasks are required to be performed by anyone heading an organization irrespective of his / her title or designation.
  3. Commanders responded slightly stronger on mission setting, motivating people and leadership qualities. This may be due to the nature of task performed by Military Commanders where the sensitivity and stakes of mission are very high, achievement of mission is heavily dependent upon motivation of troops and leadership qualities of Military Commander play a very dominant role in influencing troops. The three aspects are very evident in all the historical military campaigns and wars. However, this argument must not lead to an assertion that Managers do not require to work in these areas, as they also responded strongly on these domains.

Fig-3 Bar Graph-2 comprises responses on remaining 3 statements. These are commonly prevailing, perhaps not true, assertions about Commanders and Managers. These include limiting to mission setting only, task v/s people focus and leadership style.


Fig-3 – Bar Graph-2

  1. The assertion that people heading organizations / departments / team set the mission and leave development of strategy to subordinates may not be correct. This conclusion is supported by both the Commanders and Managers who report that they fully involve themselves in development of strategy.
  2. The assumption that Managers are mostly task-focused and less people-oriented may not be correct. Managers denied this aspect when asked if they maintained task-only focus. A similar conclusion can be made about Commanders.
  3. To verify the argument that Managers are mostly ‘participative’ and Commanders are mostly ‘authoritarian’, the questionnaire asked specific questions. Managers were asked whether they adopted Commander-like style when the task situation required, and Commanders were asked whether they adopted Participative style when the task situation required. Both of them replied positive to the questions which show that adopting a participative or assertive style is not Manager-like or Commander-like but dependent upon situation at hand.

This survey, though limited to a handful of military officers and corporate managers, indicates their general work functions. It shows that both the military commanders and corporate managers perform similar functions in their jobs, despite their different titles, different sectors and different nature of their tasks. This survey is expected to show similar results if administered to anyone heading an organization, a department, a team, a school, a police station etc.

Conclusion

Since Command, Leadership and Management are human domains, and every human is unique in his / her personality traits and work-life approach, the research based on humans filling these positions is prone to diverse conclusions. Some military Commanders may perform some functions but completely ignore to perform certain vital functions, similarly some Managers may perform some routine and status quo functions but completely ignore to perform certain vital functions, leading to research findings that Set A functions are performed by a military commander, and Set B functions are performed a corporate manager. In fact, such commanders and managers are potential hazards and both lead their organizations to a disaster. The problem is not with Command, Leadership or Management but with faulty perceptions of persons filling up these positions. The fault also lies in unending debates trying to dig out unrealistic differences between the three, leading to faulty and vague practices.

In fact, the differences do not lie in the functions but in different titles attached to leading positions in different sectors. Whatever the title may be, every person heading an organization, a department or a team is required to perform similar set of functions to achieve given objectives. Similar functions are required to be performed by a football team Captain, a school Principal, a University Dean and police station Superintendent. Good that we have still not commenced debates on differences between a sports Captain and a school Principal, a university Dean and a police Superintendent? Shall we start comparing these positions with each other, leading to an endless debate and confusing the poor Captains, Principals, Deans and Superintendents?

The fact is that anyone heading an organization, a department or a team is required to achieve a mission, set objectives, make a strategy, make a plan, apply resources, build and maintain team, motivate and inspire people to achieve mission and have qualities like integrity, honesty, courage, determination, justice to name a few. By simplest definition, any person who leads an organization, a department or a team is a Leader; may it be a military Commander leading a corps / brigade / battalion or a manager leading a division / department / team or any other person leading a school, sports team, police station etc.

Good organizations should not let the differences debate infect minds of their people, should not accept routine status quo performance from there people, and should compel people to come out of their segregation paradigms and lead their people to success by performing the task, building the team, motivating people and by having the right kind of personal qualities. Good organizations should train and develop their people on all the skills in order to make them a true competitive advantage, and not handicap them by getting trapped in limited skills under segregation paradigm. People growing out from training and development under segregation paradigm become like blind men who explain an elephant in terms of their own limited knowledge, unable to see the big picture and defend their own vague paradigms. Such people soon lead their organizations to chaos and ultimate demise.


Endnotes

[1] Bennis, W. (1989) On Becoming a Leader, Cambridge, Persus Publishing

[2] Luthans, F. (2005) Organizational Behaviour, 10th edition, New York, McGraw-Hill, pp.547

[3] Covey, R. Stephen (1989) The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, London, Simon & Schuster Ltd, pp.101

[4] Ibid

[5] http://www.leadership501.com (24 Nov 2013)

[6] http://www.futurevisions.org (24 Nov 2013)

[7] DuBrin, A. J. (2013) Leadership: Research, Findings, Practice and Skills, 7th Edition, USA, South Western Cengage Learning, pp.5

[8] Khan, I. A. (2012) The Leadership Star, Bloomington, Author House Publishers, pp.27

[9] Drucker, P. F. (1974) Management; Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices, Re-print 1999, Oxford, Butterworth-Heinemann, UK, pp.46

[10] Adair, J (2003) Not Bosses but Leaders, 3rd edition, New Delhi, Kogan Page publishers, pp.53-54

[11] Bungay, S. (2011) An Executive’s Trinity: Management, Leadership – and Command, The Ashridge Journal, Summer 2011.

[12] Fielder, D. (2011) Defining Command, Leadership, And Management Success Factors within Stability Operations, US Peace Keeping and Stability Operations Institute (PKSOI), Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College

[13] S. Jones and J. Gosling (2005) Nelson’s Way—Leadership Lessons from the Great Commander, London, UK: Nicolas Brealy Publishing.

[14] Australia Department of Defence (2007) Leadership in the Australian Defence Force, ADDP 00.6, Canberra: Defence Publishing Service

[15] The Royal Military Academy (2003) Leadership and Management Handbook, Sandhurst, UK

[16] Ibid, pp.96

[17] Bruno and Mitch (2010) Management, Current Practices and New Directions, Boston, Houghton, Mifflin and Harcourt Publishing, pp.7

[18] Kreitner, R. (2008) Management, 11th edition, Boston, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing, pp.13

[19] British Maritime Doctrine, BR 1806 (2004), 3rd Edition

[20] NATO definition

[21] US Air Force Doctrine Document 2-8, June 2007

[22] Captain Stavridis & Vice Admiral Mack, P. W (1999) Command at Sea, 5th Ed, Maryland, US Naval Institute, pp.38-39

[23] Pierce, J. L. and Durham R.B (1980) Managing, Illinois, Fresman and Company publishers

[24] Kreitner, R. (2008) Management, 11th edition, Boston, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing, pp.13

[25] Schermerhorn (2011) Management, 11th edition, New Jersey, John, Wiley & Sons, pp.16

[26] Samson, D. and Daft, R. L. (2012) Management, 4th Asia-Pacific Edition, South Melbourne, Cengage Learning Australia, pp.10

[27] DuBrin, A. J. (2013) Leadership: Research, Findings, Practice and Skills, 7th Edition, USA, South Western Cengage learning, pp.14

[28] Adair, J (2011) Effective Leadership: How to be a Successful Leader, Pan Macmillan, pp.21.

[29] Leatherman, R. W (2008) Quality Leadership Skills; Standards of Leadership Behaviour, Massachusetts, HRD Press

[30] Owen, J (2006) The Leadership Skills Handbook, London, Kogan Page Publishing

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