2.2 Reasons managers in adult care settings need both leadership and management skills

Course: NVQ Level 5 Diploma In Leadership & Management for Adult Care (RQF)

Unit 1: Leadership & Management in Adult Care

LO2: Understanding the importance of leadership and management in adult care settings

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2.2 Reasons managers in adult care settings need both leadership and management skills

Management and leadership skills are essential in the health and social care setting because they help managers lead their teams effectively and efficiently.

In the health and social care sector, managers need to be able to work with a range of professionals from different backgrounds and disciplines, as well as a diverse range of clients. Work practices vary greatly between organizations and vary according to client needs. In addition, there is growing pressure for outcomes to be monitored and evaluated – this places an additional demand on managers and their skills.

Understanding the difference between a leader and manager is crucial to understanding why both skills are necessary. According to Kotter, some of the differences between a leader and a manager are:

  • A leader focuses on the vision of where an organization is going, while managers are concerned with how to get there – the processes involved in reaching their goals. Kotter emphasizes that leaders should also be managers, but not all managers have the ability to be leaders.
  • Leaders focus more on people and making sure they are motivated, while managers focus on activities and processes.
  • A leader initiates action and focuses on the future. He or she challenges assumptions, takes risks, is innovative, and also acts as a role model for those they lead; their actions motivate others to follow them. While managers enable others to act – they provide resources, organizational structures, and processes that facilitate action by others and focus on the present.
  • Leaders excel at influencing others to move in a new direction, while managers are excellent implementers or doers of tasks.
  • Leaders have the ability to inspire others, while managers have the ability to plan and organize their teams.
  • Managers must be focused on specific tasks, while leaders must have a broad picture of the organization.
  • Managers are primarily concerned with events that are happening in their immediate environment, while leaders need to anticipate future trends and move towards them.
  • Leaders should want to create something new or different within an organization, while managers primarily focus on maintaining what currently exists.
  • Leaders need to be able to influence people on a deeper level, while managers simply need compliance from team members.
  • A leader is willing to take on the majority of failures but also accept credit for successes, while managers can ‘divide and conquer’ by accepting some responsibility for failure and delegating blame.
  • Leaders must show trust and respect, while managers need to be able to provide structure and discipline.
  • Leaders need to inspire and motivate their workforce, while managers follow protocol.
  • Managers tend to deal with questions of policy, while leaders deal with questions of vision.
  • A leader needs to develop others, while managers are more likely to focus on the development of their own skills.
  • Leaders need to be certain in their goals and clear about their vision, while managers make sure that everyone understands what is expected of them.

The author’s research found that leaders are people-oriented, while managers tend to be task-oriented. This suggests that a long term vision is important for the success of an organization and motivates staff towards productivity or happiness in their work environment through effective communication between the manager(s) with passion about company direction as well motivating them by ensuring everyone understands what needs to be done at any given time so they can do it without questions asked because motivation will come from within themselves if there isn’t external pressure forcing individuals’ hand into becoming more productive than necessary.

Moreover, leaders tend to be more visionary and articulate than managers because effective communication of why any changes must take place is an important part of inspiring others to be accountable for results.

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