Quick Test: Leader vs. Manager, Which Are You?

A day in November 2001 will always be part of my memory.

I was sat in the induction session of my first ever job as a PA and Administrator for a small team. During the mid-morning break I was chatting to one of the other attendees and was asked a question –

“what do I want to achieve in my career?”

And my answer was immediate – I pointed to the person at the front as said,

“that’s what I want to do”

The lady I was talking to sat back in shock and responded with a nod and a generic comment, which I can’t recall exactly, but that basically scoffed and said ‘good luck with that, I wouldn’t want that responsibility’.

And I remember thinking, what? Yes, being that person does bring responsibility, I get that, even though I was still a little naive at that point, but being that person is also a great privilege.

Who was the person I pointed to? It was the Chief Executive. 


Ever since that day I have been focused on improving my leadership skills and on understanding what makes a leader a leader. I have shared many of my thoughts, my personal developments and my ideas through this blog, but one thing that I keep coming back to the difference between leaders and managers, because I believe that there is a difference.

And then yesterday, I received an e-mail from Steve Gutzler (see www.stevegutzler.com) called “Quick Test: Leader vs. Manager, Which Are You?“. And the contents resonated with me, so I have shared it below so you can exercise your leadership today too:

• • •

Remember, leadership, titled or untitled, comes down to power with people— not power over people.


Leader vs. Manager

  • Managers have employees and people who work for them, leaders partner with team members.
  • Managers react to change, leaders adapt to change and often create good change.
  • Managers have a lot of meetings and talk about good ideas, leaders seize and implement ideas. Leaders’ meetings are focused, purposeful, and action oriented.
  • Managers communicate policies and procedures, leaders tell stories that persuade and inspire collective vision.
  • Managers direct, tell you what to do, and where to go, leaders create cohesive teams that “take hills and conquer the impossible.”
  • Managers share what they have accomplished, leaders make heroes and shine spotlights on accomplishments of personal leaders.
  • Managers let you know “they are in charge,” leaders exercise power with people— they serve, equip, and inspire others to greatness.

I encourage you to exercise your leadership today. Be the leader you always wanted to follow. Be that leader to your family, friends, and team.

Here’s to you— and your leadership!

You can view view Steve’s e-mail at http://us10.forward-to-friend1.com/forward/preview?u=436b5e644388884563806d88a&id=49ed85a7d6

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