In the past, I never really thought there needed to be a big distinction between a leader and a manager. I had always held to the idea that a manager could and/or should still lead. That was, until I started reading the book “Tribes” by Seth Godin. He lays out the difference between the two on page 14, where he says:
Managers manage by using the authority the factory gives them. You listen to your manager or you lose your job. A manager can’t make change because that’s not his job. His job is to complete tasks assigned to him by someone else in the factory.
Leaders, on the other hand, don’t care very much for organizational structure or the official blessing of whatever factory they work for. They use passion and ideas to lead people, as opposed to using threats and bureaucracy to manage them.
This tension may be hard for many to understand unless they are a leader stuck in a manager’s job or a manager stuck in a leader’s job. Both are equally important, which is why it is so critical to have the right person in the right role. If not, then they will only be frustrated and frustrating to those they work with.
So, here are my questions. Do you have a passion for something other than what you find yourself actually doing day in and day out? Do you find yourself fulfilled at work or wish you were doing something different? Do you see a pattern in the types of books you buy or in the subject matter of articles you read and do they line up with your current profession? What subject really makes you scoot to the edge of your seat with excitement when discussing it?