What Separates Managers from Leaders?

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Rami in Austin, Texas

115 months ago

Walk into an organization and ask one of their upper-level mangers what the difference between managers and leaders is. I promise you four out five will have no idea what you are talking about.

The difference between being a manager and being a leader, I must tell you, is very simple. Management is a job. Leadership is a quality of one'€™s character. Managers look at the bottom line while leaders look at the horizon. Managers have to do things right, but leaders do the right thing. Managers are managing while leaders are leading. So, how do they do it?

Being a leader doesn't require eloquence or good looks. You needn't have some sort of special character to thrive in a leadership role. You must simply have a clear understanding of the leadership position. More importantly, you must understand that when you accept the challenge to stand up and lead, it is not about you anymore. Now it is all about your people. It is about how you motivate them, and how they feel about you. In any crisis you have to be the first person in and the last person out. You must find the courage to make decisions without considering yourself first. Only by thus embracing your position and understanding your roles can you move from manager to leader.

Whether the group you oversee is called employees, fellow soldiers, associates, family, co-workers, teammates or anything else, what they are looking for is someone they can trust: someone they know is working for the greater good for them and for the organization alike. They're looking for someone whom they not only can, but want to follow.

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