You’re a manager but would like to be seen as a leader. So how do you tell where you are?

Leadership is quite different from management. In short, managers delegate but leaders anticipate. Of course, it’s a bit more complicated than that, but a recent article on the Harvard Business Review blog site offers three tests you can use to decide if you’re a manager or a leader.

Counting value vs Creating value

If you’re managing, and not leading, you’re probably counting value. The focus of a leader should be to create value, and to allow employees the freedom to innovate, rather than reporting their every move.

Circles of influence vs Circles of power.

Are you the ‘go to’ person for advice and mentoring or do you merely wield power? The more people outside your immediate circle go to you for advice, the more likely it is that you’ll be seen as a leader.

Leading people vs Managing work


This about about control compared with motivating. Managers control people to achieve a short-term goal; leaders inspire others to achieve greatness.

This Wall Street Journal (WSJ) article offers further insights (not all of which are shown here).





Focus on systems

Focus on people

Rely on control

Inspire trust

Have a short-range view

Have a long-range perspective

Have an eye on the bottom line

Look to the horizon

Accept the status quo

Challenge the status quo

In the new creative economy, it’s ever more important that individuals are encouraged to free their knowledge, to share it and to look beyond the norm for solutions.

We need leaders and managers, as both have a role. We need managers to help define roles and organise the workload. Good managers who aspire to leadership, according to the WSJ article, also “nurture skills, develop talent and inspire results”.

So, do you want to be a leader or a manager?


Wall Street Journal