Leadership between Traditional and Millennial Managers

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Leadership between Traditional and Millennial Managers

Leadership and control functions of a traditional manager revolve around creative problem-solving and employee motivation in the quest of ensuring that an organization achieves its goals and objectives. Similarly, the control functions of a traditional manager involve employee monitoring (Draft, 2008). The leadership exercised by millennial managers is embedded with soft skills and consensus building. This approach differs from traditional leadership, where the person in authority issues commands that ought to be conformed to without questions or compromises. Generally, a manager has the prerogative of directing groups and instigating good ideas, while leaders create teams and implement ideas.

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Leadership and Control Functions of a Traditional Manager

Traditional managers derive power from their positions and their leadership style embraces a direct chain of command. It is more of a military style of management, as such leader exercises an autocratic style. The control functions of a traditional manager reach out to the employees, but do not guarantee their sympathy. The leadership is compelled by the results and objectives that need to be attained without acknowledging the motivational aspects of the employees (Bertocci, 2009). Subsequently, employees may be pushed beyond their limits in the quest of meeting the demands of their leaders. With time, traditional leaders inculcate a fear factor in their employees. Thus, duties are performed out of fear as opposed to respect.

The drawback of such leadership and control function is loss of ample communication within an organization, because employees do not feel like the company’s assets. In fact, their duties are downplayed, which makes them lose motivation. Traditional managers will only communicate with employees whenever they need something from them. They pile up the tasks that ought to be done by staff members and introduce sanctions that do not allow team members to work at their own pace.

Such management style is an indication that traditional leaders do not acknowledge the importance of being nice to employees and the impact the four wheels of politeness can bring to an organization (Moyles, 2006). In addition, leadership and control functions of a traditional manager are largely reactive, as they incorporate a maxim, ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. Implemented plans and decisions will be influenced by the external environment and the input of those above them (Bertocci, 2009). Such leadership is not recommendable, because the time and energy of traditional leaders are preoccupied with objectives that are internally focused, as opposed to a more versatile vision.

Moreover, the leadership and control functions of traditional managers tend to downplay the important attributes of team-based management styles. As a result, traditional managers cannot handle a team-based organization unless they first embrace situational leadership (Draft, 2008). Such managers limit the involvement of staff member’s participation because the meetings do not allow subordinates to brainstorm. This is a crude leadership mannerism, because in the contemporary managerial setting employee participation is an integral component. However, the proponents of traditional management while orchestrating the corresponding leadership and control functions may have an impact on the millennial generation.

How the Traditional Functions of a Manager May Affect the Millennial Managers

The millennial generation is the demographic cohort that follows generation X. The traditional functions of a manager undermines the millennial generation by inculcating archaic management practices that do not enhance productivity. The disparities arising between traditional and millennial managers are based on the fact that the millennial generation fails to realize that leadership and management are distinct from the corresponding job description. For instance, one might be a good sales person but lack the necessary skills to manage other sales people.

In this respect, the traditional functions of a manager may affect the millennial managers by encouraging them to reward individuals on the basis of long services and qualifications. This impact will be detrimental in an organizational setting, because a millennial manager should reward people on the basis of their ability to deliver excellence and adherence to given instructions (Draft, 2008). In addition, the management and control functions of traditional managers may compel the millennial managers to look down upon self-discovery and direct coaching. Subsequently, millennial managers do not conform to certain behavioral practices in the name of following suit as per actions of predecessors (Bertocci, 2009). Everything they do ought to be practical and make sense to them. The modern management instills values that acknowledge consensus building, growth and development of employees as well as being a source of empowerment.

Some of the strengths that millennial managers have to offer are negated by traditional managerial roles. The strengths include seamless connection and network with team members at personal levels, collaboration with other staff members, and deployment of technology to enhance job efficiency (Moua, 2012). Moreover, traditional management functions will not encourage millennial leaders to harness the comprehension of technology as an open source mindset that would enhance problem-solving. Subsequently, the millennial managers may lack an inclusive mindset that would encourage the staff members to embrace diversity. Similarly, traditional control and management functions will may undermine the protocol that millennial managers conform to while undergoing the transition of management and the execution of some of the vital managerial skills.

Unlike the traditional managers, millennial managers ought to exhibit some degree of prudence and modernized managerial skills by walking the talk and acting congruently by making commitments. They should also make their staff members feel special by acknowledging their contribution towards the attendance of organizational goals.

The emergence of millennial managers has revolutionized the realm of management as it is embedded in respect and encouragement of creative thought in the workplace (Moyles, 2006). A vast majority of millennial managers deal with highly specialized employees and thus provide little guidance to the subordinates. This leadership style is referred to as laissez-faire. The millennial management style has been a result of evolving traditional leadership as it seeks to adopt a collaborative approach. Then again, millennial leadership style pertains to taking a team along as opposed to dragging it along. In this context, managers will derive their power from those being managed (Watson, 2007). In the long run, the efficacy of millennial style of management is more applicable, because it motivates and encourages participation from those being managed.

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Comparative Framework of Leader and a Manager

The essence of leadership is to motivate others and energize teams to enhance performance. Leaders mentor and motivate individuals by enabling them to achieve some uncommon results, either as individuals or teams. Therefore, the roles of a manager and a leader should not conflict with each other. However, even though management and leadership are distinct concepts, the skills involved in both tend to overlap. Leadership ought to be clear, strategic and involve some collaboration within the organizations. Managerial roles, on the other hand, are based on discipline, division of work, unity of command, unity of direction, and esprit de corps (Daft, 2008).

In addition, managers may try to be heroes, while leaders will make heroes of everyone around them. Managers must always be in a position to articulate their ideas so as to get things done (Watson, 2007). As for the leaders, they will get tasks done through persuasion so as not to lose their followers. In the course of interaction with individuals, tie managers will gradually exercise power over people, while leaders will develop power over people. Moreover, managers try to be heroes by directing groups, while leaders are always in the quest of creating heroes from those around them (Moua, 2012). Leaders create heroes by first creating teams as opposed to directing groups. Managers are focused individuals who take credit, while leaders are personalities that can create a shared focus and take responsibility.

Leaders refine their leadership skills by being influenced by the circumstances around them. In fact, leaders tend to be chiseled by these experiences and mold themselves accordingly to serve their followers. As for the managers, their styles and skills are influenced by people they look up to in the realm of management. Moreover, in order to get something done, a manager has to focus on three major areas, which include constraints, demands, and choices (Moyles, 2006). An effective manager will use an amalgam of these three major areas to manipulate the staff members and get the objectives fulfilled.


Leadership and control functions of a traditional manager differ from the leadership functions adopted by millennial managers. Traditional managers fail to acknowledge the importance of ample communication through the articulation of ideas. Similarly, the roles and duties to be carried out by traditional and millennial managers are dependent on the kind of organization one is working for. A single leadership framework cannot be applicable to all organizations due to the varying degrees of skills and managerial techniques. However, leadership differs from management, because a leader acts to adhere to the follower’s wills so as to win more followers. As for managers, they control their employees so as to enhance organizational performance.