All managers are leaders. All leaders are managers. Which of these statements is true? Neither. The words are often confused, even in academic settings, because we think that both leaders and managers are in charge of a specific task or group of people. However, there are many differences between the two. One such distinction is that a manager may not be in charge of people at all. For example, a manager may be in charge of data, including its acquisition, analysis, and dissemination. Or consider the fact that a leader may have no formal power; many of history's greatest leaders only had power "earned" from their peers instead of power granted by another individual or group. Think of our country's founding fathers, like Thomas Jefferson, who went against the British government to draft the Declaration of Independence --- the situation created the "team," and from that the recognized leaders emerged. All of these distinctions will be explored in this course.
Not only will this course distinguish between managers and leaders, but it will provide you with some of the resources to be both a competent manager and a good leader. Whether you want to run a doctor's office or a company with thousands of employees, management and leadership skills are the keys that open those doors. Many believe that the highest positions are given to those that know the most about the business, but in reality those positions are reserved for leaders whose leadership skills transcend business acumen. These skills are difficult to teach in any setting, so it is important to study them carefully and look for real world situations in which to practice them.
The structure of this course focuses mostly on leadership, because a good portion of management skills are reserved for technical knowledge in a position. This course will begin with an introduction that will help further the distinction between leadership and management, and then you will be introduced to major theories and models of leadership and of leadership development from a variety of perspectives. Next, you will be introduced to the process of decision-making in a variety of leadership settings. You will then study the processes of leading independently, or without direct authority. The final unit will focus on managing groups and teams. You may not be a leader after concluding this course, but you certainly will have a better understanding of the qualities of leadership. Perhaps you will discover there is a leader right at your fingertips.