Are You A Manager Or A Leader

About a week ago I was preparing for a training session I was scheduled to do with another person on the subject of leadership. As I thought about leadership I wondered why the business environment used sales management vs. sales leadership. I found an interesting site that compared the two. For the sake of convenience here they are:

  • Managers administer, leaders innovate
  • Managers ask how and when, leaders ask what and why
  • Managers focus on systems, leaders focus on people
  • Managers do things right, leaders do the right things
  • Managers maintain, leaders develop
  • Managers rely on control, leaders inspire trust
  • Managers have a short-term perspective, leaders have a longer-term perspective
  • Managers accept the status-quo, leaders challenge the status-quo
  • Managers have an eye on the bottom line, leaders have an eye on the horizon
  • Managers imitate, leaders originate
  • Managers emulate the classic good soldier, leaders are their own person
  • Managers copy, leaders show originality

I found this really fascinating. When you look at the manager’s side what do you see? I see aloofness, coldness, routine, regularity, sameness, and a host of other “average words”. When I looked at the leader side I saw, well, I saw the opposite of the words I just wrote for managers.

When I think of a leader I think of a Michael Jordan because he was always creating on the basketball floor. I think of Ronald Reagan because he refused to accept the status quo. I think of 2nd Lieutenant Jim Kwiecien, a very good friend who was twice wounded in Viet Nam; Jim is part of a handful of people I would let cover my back because I trust him implicitly.

You can turn practically everyone into a manager but you cannot turn everyone into a leader. There are too many intangible traits that only certain people have. Often, they don’t know they have them but they are there. Over the next couple of weeks worth of posts I’m going to dig into leadership and offer some thoughts about the intangible traits that make people good leaders.

The Final Thought: The only real training for leadership is leadership. Anthony Jay.


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