Do you consider yourself a manager or a leader? Maybe both?

All too often the terms get used interchangeably, but the two are vastly different.

What is a manager?

A manager is a position.

A title within a hierarchy.

A clearly defined role that comes with a detailed job description and a specific set of responsibilities.

Managers are concerned with the mechanics of an organisation. They are focused on the results, the outputs, and establish the systems, processes and resources needed to get the job done.

They are the organisation’s working skeleton, its arms and legs, joints and tendons.

What is a leader?

A leader on the other hand is far more concerned with the dynamics of the team or organisation, the heart and soul, the ethos.

Unlike management, leadership has nothing to do with hierarchy.

Rather, the honour of being a leader is bestowed on you based on actions and behaviours that ignite trust and loyalty.

A leader is always thinking ahead, balancing the wins of the here and now, with the long-term contribution and impact.

A leader is less responsible for the results, and more responsible for the people responsible for the results.

And so they strive to empower and develop others to be the best they can be.

Now you know the difference between a manager and a leader, which one are you? And which one do you aspire to be?

What does it take to be a leader?

Above all, a leader is someone who imagines a future that others might not yet be able to see.

But a vision alone is not enough. No leader can achieve a vision by themselves, it takes an ecosystem of support.

Which is why to be a leader takes both vision AND influence.

If you want to be a leader, you must strive to paint a picture of the future for your team and constantly share your vision in a way that will mean something to them. 

If you want to maximise your impact and realise your vision, you need to communicate in a way that resonates, connects, inspires and unites others to follow you on the journey. 

Because – as the saying goes – a leader without any followers, is simply out for a walk.