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Holy Family College Blog

3 Reasons Why Businesses Need Leaders Instead of Managers

Posted By Dr. James Begotka On May 24, 2019

oJordan Lindstrom LOD

In a rapidly evolving business landscape, companies don’t just need managers who are strictly concerned with what’s happening right now — they need leaders who can think critically and look towards the future. Effective leaders have the will and ability to serve - the mission and the people who make it happen.


"The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant." -Max DePree


Leadership and Organizational Development (LOD) are fields that train the business leaders and organizational development professionals of tomorrow by focusing on contemporary theories in business leadership, organizational development and dynamics at a personal, interpersonal and organizational level.

We talked to Dr. Jim Begotka, Director of the Master of Science in Leadership and Organizational Development Program and Assistant Professor at Holy Family College in order to learn more about this developing idea in the business landscape.

Here are three ideas he explored that explain why businesses today need leaders, not managers.


Curious about the Leadership and Organizational Development master's degree program? Request more information today and one of our faculty will reach out to answer any of your questions. 

Leaders are collaborators who promote contributions from everyone.

While “leader” and “manager” can sometimes be used interchangeably, these words have entirely different meanings in a business context.

According to Dr. Begotka, managers manage resources and processes, while leaders lead people. In his view,  leaders are people who overlook personal ego and “compel [others] to contribute [their] own gifts and talents, and reach beyond to discover new heights.”

Technically speaking, our Leadership and Organizational Development (LOD) program differs from our prior Management and Organizational Development (MOD) program, as well as MBA programs in that  it emphasizes the collaborative, social, and human nature of organizational settings and nurture leaders who both challenge and inspire their teams to offer high performance; they harness the talent present in individuals, teams, and the organization’s workforce overall.

“[Our LOD program should appeal] to all professionals who are organizational leaders in ALL industries,” explains Dr. Begotka, “What is consistent in the program from past to future is that we are a master’s in science graduate program, which enables us to go deeper into specific content and knowledge areas than say an MBA would allow.”  

At Holy Family College, we align our curriculum with  highly reputable standards of leadership, including the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL), and the National Center for Healthcare Leadership (NCHL).

21st century businesses need someone to lead them toward the next big thing.

While the term “leader” isn’t new to businesses or any other organizational entity, effective leaders are in particularly high demand right now. What makes a leader effective in today’s environment is different than what was necessary in yesterday’s environment.  

With the ever-changing digital landscape, a multi-generational workforce with the  millennial generation being the largest segment with a digital-consuming demographic, businesses need bright, fresh ideas  and need to be revolutionary versus evolutionary Leadership and Management fall on a continuum. Both approaches and related skill sets and traits are necessary to navigate an ever-changing digital landscape and to attract, retain, develop and mobilize talent, a talent pool that becomes increasingly more challenging to attract and retain.  

Successful business leaders today embrace a high-risk, yet high-reward mentality.

Dr. Begotka states it beautifully when he suggests, “Effective leaders bring effective change management philosophy and tactics, trusted vision and shared goals, demonstrated examples of institutional values, values-based character, and a culture that is based on professionalism and trust — all of which contributes to the propensity for individuals, teams and the organization to achieve sustainable levels of high performance.”

Much of the challenge for today’s leaders has to do with managing cultural and economic change in the evolving digital economy.

The digitization of today’s economy means that a great business leader has to know how the modern generation thinks and interacts with media and technology. Because of this, leaders can’t be afraid to take risks — whether that’s by incorporating a bold new social media campaign or a product with cutting-edge technology. The ability to succeed often requires adaptability and flexibility.

A  leader can take the company toward a level of expansion that will never come to pass under a manager’s direction. Why? Ralph Nader provides this insight:

"I start with the premise that the function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers." —Ralph Nader


Want to learn more about Leadership and Organizational Development?

Dr. Begotka has spent his career observing, studying and researching the topic of leadership so he has plenty of resources to recommend for those who want to learn more.



  • Leadership: Theory and Practice, (Northouse, 2018)
  • Resonant Leadership, (Boyatzis & McKee, 2005)
  • The Bass Handbook of Leadership, (Bass, 2008)
  • Developing the Leader within You, (Maxwell, 2018)
  • The End of Leadership, (Kellerman, 2012)


  • “Training Future Manager-Leaders”, (Buchen, 2005)
  • “Flexible Leadership: Creating Value by Balancing Multiple Challenges and Choices”, (Yukl and Lepsigner, 2004)
  • "Franciscan Tradition in Management and Leadership Thinking Today", (Warode & Gerundt, 2018).

Holy Family College is proud to offer a transformative Leadership and Organizational Development program, available in a combination of online and in-person classes offered at several locations around Wisconsin.


If you’re interested in learning more about Holy Family College’s Leadership and Organizational Development graduate program, we invite you to download our free guide - A Guide to Getting Your Master’s in Leadership and Organizational Development.

Download the Guide!

Topics: Business & Leadership

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