Ask anyone and they'll
tell you. There's a difference between managers and leaders.
Ask them what that
difference is and they may have a bit more difficulty. Suddenly
the words become amorphous and undefined. Somehow leadership is
an intangible - a charismatic component that some people have
and others simply don't. That's why, according to the ubiquitous
"they", it is such a rarity.
The difference between
being a manager and being a leader is simple. Management is a
career. Leadership is a calling.
You don't have to be tall,
well-spoken and good looking to be a successful leader. You
don't have to have that "special something" to fulfill the
What you have to have is
clearly defined convictions - and, more importantly, the courage
of your convictions to see them manifest into reality. Only when
you understand your role as guide and steward based on your own
most deeply held truths can you move from manager to leader.
Whether the group you
oversee is called employees, associates, co-workers, teammates
or anything else, what they are looking for is someone in whom
they can place their trust. Someone they know is working for the
greater good - for them and for the organization. They're
looking for someone not only that they can - but that they
want to - follow.
Because it is only when
you have followers -people who have placed their trust in you -
that you know you have moved into that leadership role. And the
way you see it is that your organization is transcending all
previous quality, productivity, innovation and revenue
achievements. You're operating at such a high level of
efficiency that you're giving budget back to the corporation -
and you're still beating your goals.
You're achieving what you
always dreamed could be achieved. And not only that, but it's
actually easier than you thought.
Because you're a leader.
Because the classic command and control management model -
which, contrary to popular belief still applies even in our most
progressive 21st century companies - is no longer in play. Sure,
controls are in place. Sure, you're solving problems that arise.
But it's not just you
alone. You have the people in whom you've put your trust - and
who have happily and safely reciprocated - to help you create