Leadership And Management Characteristics Management Essay

Leadership and management plays critical role in the effectiveness and performance of an organization. The two concepts are sometimes taken to mean the same but their perspectives are different. This paper will take to differentiate the two concepts, develop leadership and management approach for a sales manager in Abbott Company in Ireland. The writer will explore the leadership and management roles played by the sales manager, relevant skills for the position and the various ways of improving various aspects of leadership and management like intelligence, communication and decision-making. The paper will be important to leaders and managers of organizations as well as students who aspire to become managers and leaders.


Leadership is one of the organization’s assets, an effective manager must possess leadership skills and expertise that enables him to rule and manage the organization. Management and leadership are two concepts that organizations and individual struggle to define and distinguish. Manager’s main aim is to optimize the organization’s output through implementation of administrative functions, the manager achieves this by undertaking various functions that include planning, organization, directing, staffing and controlling. Leadership is deemed as the key component under the directing function of management, to manage effectively, a manager should not only demonstrate leadership but also requires formal authority. For any organizational initiative to become effective and remain quality senior management has to remain a role model and this should not be delegated (Harkins 1999, p. 117). Sometimes management and leadership are used interchangeably but it is important to know that the two concepts are different; however, it is important to realize that leadership is a facet in management and particularly determines the effectiveness of the manager in the directing function.

Differences between leadership and management

In terms of perspective, leaders think fundamentally while managers think incrementally, for instance while a manager will seek to do things right, a leader will seek to do the right things meaning that a manager may be so much concerned with following of company’s policy, leaders follow their intuition and this is mostly of greater benefit to the organization. “Managers do things by the book and follow company policy, while leaders follow their own intuition, which may be more beneficial for the company: a leader is more emotional than a manager” (Leitner 2007, p. 1). In addition, leaders experience more loyalty from their followers than managers do, this is because leaders takes blames particularly when things are not right, they celebrate groups’ achievements whether major or minor, they give credit to the group and individual members where it is due. By remaining sensitive and observant, leaders understands their teams better and develops shared confidence with them. The other factor that distinguishes leaders from managers is that, managers rule while leaders are followed, managers have to be obeyed but leaders get people who naturally follow them by choice. For instance, a leader may not demonstrate organizational skills but he could create a vision that unites the organizational members (McNichol et al. 2007, p. 63). Managers demonstrate expertise in their specific fields where their positions have been attained by working hard and progressing with the company, they posses the technical knowhow. A leader may have newly arrived in the company but through courage, fresh and new ideas, He gets people to follow his objectives and implement his vision. In situations where leaders and managers work together, leaders play an innovative role while managers administer, leaders develop the vision and managers maintain it. Managers depend on control while leaders inspire members with trust taking a long-range view of the organization. Leaders focus on people but managers’ focus on structures and processes.

Both management and leadership play a vital role in the organizational performance and effectiveness. God leaders should work hard to attain management skills while good managers must work towards attaining leadership skills. In an organizational context, leaders create a clear vision, which is attainable and then communicate it to organization members (McNichol et al. 2007, p. 42). They develop strategies to help realize the vision ad motivate people to work towards achieving the vision. They also negotiate for support and necessary resources to help implement the goals. Managers on the other hand ensure that available resources and support are organized and applied to attain the optimal results.

Abbott in Ireland

Abbott is one of the broad-based, global health care companies that is committed to contribute to the field of medicine by discovering new technologies, new medicines and new health management ways. The company was established in Ireland in 1946 and it employs about 4,000 employees across 8 locations in Ireland and other commercial operation sites like Dublin, Westport and Sligo. Abbott manufactures and develops products ranging from pharmaceutical therapies to nutritional products to medical devices and diagnostics. The company attains high level of sales and requires effective coordination of sales across the domestic and in the international market.

The role of a sales manager

The sales manager in the pharmaceutical company acts as the cornerstone of sales force high performance and effectiveness. The position will require me to do frequent evaluation particularly in the light of company pressures that force dramatic changes in the sales force; this is because as a sales manager I will drive the company’s continued growth and superior productivity. The other critical role in my portfolio will be to develop strategies relevant for the marketing and sales in the company so that the company can optimize sales revenue and manage customers effectively. As a sales manager, I will dedicate most of time and resources to the building of a more strategic approach to sales. This would involve determining the relevant skills for the sales force, their training needs and the required activities that are important in driving sales; I will act as a team leader and manager (Ingram et al 2008, p. 15). My portfolio will also involve an integral role in determining the company’s profitability, overseeing the company’s sales operations and the development and training of sales force, I will acts as a business manager. The sales position also requires me to monitor the sales and contribute in terms of ways that could improve the sales performance; I will also establish and maintain business relationships with other companies, physicians and pharmacists in the industry.

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Management and leadership characteristics

A sales manager must have interpersonal influence on his team in order to secure their willingness to commit themselves to the shared goals. He must also create energy and give direction to the sales force, which may include orientation towards the desired change. To activate change, set direction, develop people, energize and support change, sales manager must demonstrate leadership qualities since it can hardly be achieved through authority. The sales manager being the leader of sales force must develop and articulate vision of the sales and marketing function, he must also communicate the vision clearly to the sales force. Sales leadership should not be authoritative kind of expertise, rather it should be influential kind of expertise where the leader motivates and inspires the members to commit them towards goal achievement (Mabey & Ramirez 2004, p. 12).

Management and leadership skills

The success of a business is highly determined by the leadership at any level or function of the organization, it is therefore important that appropriate leadership qualities like trustworthiness, self-confidence and courage are nurtured and developed. I have attributes that are critical in leadership and these attributes enables me to work together with sales team in implementing the established vision with ease. These include sense of mission, confidence, being charismatic, decisiveness, creative problem solving that promotes positive working environment and better care, and also the ability and capacity to influence members to work together in order to achieve common goals (Pergamon 2007, p. 127). Having these attributes opens door for me to enhance clarity in the established vision and enables the manager to demonstrate relevant skills in management and leadership. One of the skills that I possess that would enable them to play the role effectively is open and effective communication skills, this will help in encouraging dialogue with sales force and understanding them while enabling them to think and look for solutions to the existing challenges.

To manage sales effectively, the leader requires an ‘I am here to assist’ kind of attitude such that any proposal passed on to the sales force, they feel that it is for their own benefits as well as that of the organization. This is referred to as servant leadership where by the leaders maintains a responsive, humble to his followers’ needs, and show curiosity to their ideas and opinions. In my position, I uphold a servant type of leadership and this will be central in enabling me to handle my team members well and assist them in whichever way possible. Average sales managers issue orders but servant leaders apply careful and planned dialogue with sales force; this will enable me to elicit a cooperative and positive response from the sales force. It is easy to get feedback when the manager communicates on their terms instead of dictating to them the desired way of working. “The most important sales management skills are communication and listening skills, human relations skills, organization and time management skills, industry, company, product, and general business knowledge, coaching, motivating, and leadership skills, and honest and ethical tendencies” (Ingram et al 2008, p. 15). As a sales manager I would apply servant leadership to enhance sales force commitment, servant leadership takes time to listen, adjusts communication style across the wide variety of personalities.

I possess an unwavering courage that enables me to take courage in odds, this is very important in sales and management of sales force, definiteness of decisions is also key in sales management, it enables the manager to identify goals and implement them on the face of setbacks and obstacles(Day 2001, p. 582). Effective planning also puts me ahead by enabling me to meet deadlines and take appropriate action plans, this also enables me to prioritize tasks and demonstrate delegation skills. I have strong organizational skills, confidence and the ability to negotiate regulatory and administrative processes, which is vital in sales management; they help in managing the sales force and implementing the various action plans in an organized manner and with clarity of tasks and purpose.

Another important skill in sales management is teamwork, an effective sales manager must encourage teamwork to enable the organization achieve its revenue targets with ease; teamwork also enables the team members to share knowledge and skills. The team requires a leader who can demonstrate confidence and facilitate the various sales and marketing activities. These skills will enable me to organize and manage the sales team effectively, sometimes sales and marketing is not easy especially where the company is venturing into new markets or the marketing function is establishing new market segments, such moves may challenge the sales force efforts to meet their sales targets. I possess strong motivation and inspiration that would help in ensuring that the sales force is encouraged to go beyond challenges and obstacles (Mabey & Ramirez 2004, p. 219). Besides planning, budgeting and organizing, I will also motivate and inspire the sales force, for instance, I will establish a rewarding system where those who meet their targets can be rewarded. My experience with Al Arsh medical in Baghdad has equipped me with skills in budgeting, planning and organizing and this will be vital in my new position as a sales manager.

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As a leader, I will hire the best candidates for sales force; teach those winning strategies by creating an environment for solutions while taking a long range look in the sales performance. This would require me to demonstrate collective intelligence, pulling the team players together and tactical sales planning effectively, I must also listen and develop trust in the members. To earn sales force commitment, I will articulate set of values acceptable for the team and the company and encourage the team to embody those values in their sales and organizational conduct (Day 2001, p. 582). Aggressive confrontation of resistance will help to ensure that the sales force is united, Ideas, values and energy enables the manager to have a sense of need, develop a vision that inspires the sales force and adopt a tactical plan. They also enhance teamwork and set expectations that are realistic. As a sales manager, I will make tough calls and make tough decisions, act as a role model and a player coach giving direction and monitoring their implementation of goals, I will demonstrate strong control and command of authority.

Improving various areas of leadership

A successful manager and leader must be able to identify challenges that arise in course of leadership, how the manager or the leader deals with the various challenges influences the effectiveness of leadership and management. Such challenges arise from the leaders’ relationship with the team members or from the leaders’ ineffectiveness in leading the team. Fro instance, it is not easy to supervise friends due to discomforts that arise and the privileges that they might expect from the leader or the manager. It is also challenging to supervise colleagues who are more experienced than the manager; this particularly arises when a manager joins a new company and is expected to supervise people who have more experience working in the company than the manager (Huber 2006, p. 143). It is critical to learn to handle employees fairly and maintain professionalism in the relationships that are established. Such challenges affect the capacity to make decisions effectively, enhance open and effective communication and may even influence the leader’s capacity to empower the members. Leadership competencies and effectiveness of management are highly influenced by aspects like intelligence, communication, decision making and empowerment, it is therefore very important that the leader or the manager devises various ways of improving his or her capacity and skills to mange the members.

Improving my communication in leadership and management

Communication plays a critical role in management and leadership, it opens an opportunity to advice the members, inspire them, get feedback, discuss and understand one another from the point of individual’s needs. Effective communication can be enhanced through regular meetings, for instance, I would organize for weekly meeting with the sales force to evaluate their weekly performance. This would give me the opportunity to examine and identify the members’ view on the set targets and the challenges they could be facing in their implementation of the established goals (Harkins 1999, p. 124). I must relay the ideas and concerns of the members, and provide them with feedback, this builds a market-wide perspective and provides inspiration, positive and anticipatory atmosphere that is important in starting new projects.

The most important factor to consider when improving communication in an organization is the method applied and tools used to facilitate the management’s supervisory activities and to communicate updates and plans aimed at handling operational challenges. In the modern times, the majority of companies have adopted digital infrastructure to enhance efficiency in organizational communication. The most common model of this trend is the development of intranets for communication. An intranet refers to a computer-based set of connections in a private enterprise that uses security mechanisms such as Internet Protocol to prevent access by unauthorized individuals outside the organization’s network. I would introduce the intranet to enhance information security and to promote efficiency in the flow of sales and marketing information across the hierarchical structure in the organization. The intranet would also simplify the operations of the organization and the flow of communication to employees around the organization. This is since application of the hierarchical structure in organizational communication complicates and precipitates costs in time and other resources in the operations of the organization. Automation of the communication mechanisms in the organization would enable the management to monitor sales trends effectively and conveniently, and identify and rectify organizational challenges in time. My portfolio would involve playing a vital role in improving communication within the sales and marketing function of the company (Harkins 1999, p. 128). To improve the communication, I would also enhance objectivity in every message conveyed to members, when communicating through mails, I weighed weigh my emotions so that the tone used in the message is honest, positive and trustworthy. A leader should avoid being emotional in order to ensure that rational mind is engaged in strategizing the best approach to the existing issues, this would help me in preserving trust through communication. I would also encourage members to ask questions freely without fearing ridicule.

Improving my decision making in leadership and management

Decision making is a critical skill in business and particularly in leadership, decision making skill is often integrated problem solving skills, the two skills are especially critical in leadership and management decisions. Various ways, processes and techniques should be used to improve leaders’ decision-making and their quality. Effectiveness in decision-making requires some personalities like decisiveness in order to make quality assessments, they also need to be creative so that they can identify and develop options and brainstorming techniques (Huber 2006, p. 172). To ensure that I make effective decisions in my position, would conduct analysis of the political economic, social and technological environment as well as the analysis of the strengths, weaknesses and the threats and opportunities of the function or the company.

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In the context of Abbott, I would conduct SWOT analysis and PEST analysis to help identify challenges and the opportunities and strengths that could enable effective handling of the challenges; this would give me the opportunity to make effective decision concerning the appropriate course of action. SWOT analysis would also help in assessing the suitability and the potential of the market. The other important step in improving decision-making would be to enhance creative development, identification of options, firmness of decisions, clarity of judgment made and effective implementation in the sales and marketing function. Workshops are also important particularly in enhancing a group decision-making; this helps in arriving at consensus and arriving at appropriate processes and incorporating the relevant tools. I would also engage in negotiation concerning the decision at stake, with other managers or leaders, this helps in interacting and exploring new and exiting concepts (Huber 2006, p. 172).

Improving my intelligence in leadership and management

Emotional intelligence is critical in leadership; it enables leaders to meet the challenges of leading their members particularly in sensitive functions like sales and marketing, which are cornerstones in organizations. Emotional intelligence refers to the capacity, ability and self-perceived ability to assess, identify, mange one’s emotions and those of others. It gives a leader competitive edge, with the evolved sense of independence and democracy at work environment, leaders are challenged to lead and manage empowered workforce (Pergamon 2007, p. 60). This requires me to go beyond co-operative, consultative and democratic leadership styles in order to meet the growing opportunities, challenges and glory, team spirit and other demands.

To assess one’s emotional intelligence, I would use self-report questionnaires; this explores self-awareness and could be combined with other approaches like 360 feedback processes and experiential exercises. Combining self-report questionnaire with the 360 whereby the results are processed by an independent entity enables the leader to get results that are more candid. To improve emotional intelligence, I would focus on self-awareness, self-management, social-awareness and relationship skills, one can identify personal anecdotes that can be reflected upon (Pergamon 2007, p. 61). After being aware of oneself, the leader can influence others and can easily manage interpersonal relations without conflicts or is at least well placed to manage conflicts, facilitate collaboration and teamwork, and develop skills and knowledge appropriate for the leadership roles. Carrying out reflective analysis would help in identifying areas that require further development, imaging of alternatives on regular basis contribute substantially to the improvement of emotional intelligence. In the context of Abbott, I would examine my reactions, my responses to the sales force, to the performance of sales and fill a questionnaire that is well structured to cover the various levels of emotional intelligence including self-awareness, self-management, social-awareness and relationship skills (Pergamon 2007, p. 62). I know that I have a weak emotional intelligence and I would look forward to develop it further. I would also take experiential exercises in addition to the self-report questionnaire; this would be appropriately analyzed by a colleague like a line manager within the company to make the results more honest and helpful to me. Management of sales is very challenging and the leader is often stressed whenever the sales targets are unmet, as a sales manager I would work towards demonstrating emotional intelligence in order to enhance effective leadership.


Leadership and management are closely linked but the two concepts differ in terms of focus and objectives, for instance a sales manager will focus on administration of sales, systems and structures necessary for effective sales management, while a sales manager who demonstrates leadership would focus on innovative ways of managing and increasing sales. As earlier mentioned, managers focus much on tasks while leaders focus on people, managers are more task oriented while leaders are mostly people oriented, from Blake’s grid, the effective management and leadership must assume a central position in tasks and people orientation. Effective managers must learn leadership skills and leaders must learn management skills in order to blend their ideas, values and energy with the appropriate skills in the achievement of organizational goals and objectives. Leaders in organizational leadership and management can use various styles of leadership including autocratic, democratic, transactional, transformational, and servant leadership styles (Mabey & Ramirez 2004, p. 20). In management of sales, servant leadership is more desirable as it enables the manager or the leader to influence the sales force more easily. The leaders must however demonstrate attributes and skills that enable them to blend well with organizational goals.


Day, D (2001), Leadership Development: A Review in Context, Leadership Quarterly, Vol. 11(4), pp, 581 – 613.

Harkins, P (1999), Powerful conversations: how high-impact leaders communicate, Volume 282. New York: McGraw-Hill Professional.

Huber, D (2006), Leadership and nursing care management, Amsterdam: Elsevier Health Sciences.

Leitner, A (2007), Concept of Leadership and Management Within the Manufacturing Industry, Munich: GRIN Verlag.

Mabey, C & Ramirez, M (2004), Developing Managers: A European Perspective, London: Chartered Management Institute.

McNichol, E, Hamer, S & Wigens, L (2007), Leadership and Management: A 3-Dimensional Approach (Expanding Nursing and Health Care Practice Series), Cheltenham: Nelson Thornes Ltd.

Pergamon, E (2007), Leadership and Management in Organizations, Amsterdam: Elsevier.

Ingram, T., LaForge, R & Avila, R (208). Sales Management: Analysis and Decision Making, New York: M.E. Sharpe.

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