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Are You Currently Operating As A Leader or A Manager? Your Qualities Determines The Difference.

There is a continuing controversy about the difference between leadership and management. There are several conclusion to be drawn from this debate but one thing is absolutely clear not all managers exercise leadership, and many people who called themselves “leader” cannot lead, manage maybe, but lead, no. 

Organizations provide its managers with legitimate authority to lead, but there is no assurance that they will be able to lead effectively. As a manager, you are the de facto leader but what prevents the manager from becoming a leader is their qualities.

For example, if you are quite contented to focus on planning and budgeting, organizing and staffing, controlling and problem-solving, you will get honors as an average manager if however, you add some leadership qualities in that mix:  

  • Accepting & Learning from failure 

  • Purpose & Values Driven

  • Communication

  • Emotional Intelligence 

  • Inspirationally motivating  

  • Visionary 

  • Listening

  • Leading By Example

  • Empower Others

  • Self Development 

  • Empathy

WoW! When you add those qualities, you will be one hell of a leader. 

Some people think it's a fallacy, this type of leadership cannot exist in the real world, but there are many organisations that are led by great leaders who embody these qualities for example, Glassdoor highest rated CEOs for 2018 list some of the most outstanding CEOs in the world that exemplified what leadership is all about.

The highest rated CEO for 2018 is Eric S. Yuan from Zoom Video Communications; Yuan got an employees approval rating of 99%, the 100th rank CEO Kevin A. Lobo, got an employee approval rating of 90%. The list comprises CEOs like -:

  • Michael F. Mahoney from Boston Scientific

  • Mark Zuckerberg from Facebook

  • Jeff Weiner from Linkedln

  • James Downing from St, Judes Children Hospital

  • Marc Benioff from Salesforce

  • Colleen Wegman from Wegman Food Markets

and many, many more great CEOs who believe and live the values of the company. But more importantly they recognize that their employees are their most prized asset and genuinely care about the needs of their employees.  

The Great Place To Work Institute together with Fortune publish the 100 Best Companies to Work For every year. When you read the reviews from these companies, it is incredible how people feel so inspired and motivated to work. Their employee turnover rate is close to zero, and their employees are fiercely loyal to their leader and the company.

Why? Great leadership.  

In today’s dynamic Workplace, organizations need strong leadership and active management for optimal effectiveness. We need leaders to challenge the status quo, to inspire, to motivate, etc. but we also need managers to assist in developing and maintaining a smoothly functioning workplace, but they should also have strong leadership skills to keep a positive work environment.


Many of the problems existing in many organization today come from piss poor leadership and management. While great leaders encourage their employees to reach their full potential and help their organizations surpass their goals, weak managers push their employees away to the point where many of them jump ship. 

According to the Wall Street Journal, nearly half of the employees who leave jobs do so to get away from their bosses and as such, if you don’t want to lose your best employees, it's critical that you do everything you can to ensure you fill managerial positions with the right people in the first place. The success of any organization comes from team members who challenge the “but that is how we do it here” refrain. According to John Couris, top performing team members are those who possess the confidence to challenge the status quo, think strategically and speak up in order to put the success of the organization at the front of every decision.

When you develop that type of culture in your organization, and you are not an insecure leader who believed everyone should agree with everything you say or do, you are nurturing and developing the next generation of leaders.  Couris further argued that the key to leading a successful organization is developing a team that enables members to contribute to the best of their ability. By surrounding yourself with smart and driven folks, who can be just that - smart and driven - you will develop a culture that yields a great deal of success.

To successfully navigate all the disruptions in today fiercely competitive world we are going to need a new generation of leaders who are purpose driven, who can inspire people to believe that the impossible is possible, to believe that they can achieve the unimaginable, to challenge their people to be the best while helping them develop their skills and competence.  

We need leaders to stand up for their employees, to lead by example and to create an environment their employees will love to come too; when you achieve that ladies and gentlemen your organization will attract the best and the brightest and become one of the best in the world.


About Gifford Thomas

I am the founder of Leadership First and the author of The Inspirational Leader, Inspire Your Team To Believe In The Impossible. At Leadership First, we are committed to publishing the very best inspirational leadership quotes and articles to inspire our 220,000+ community of leaders to believe in the impossible, while creating an environment free from toxic, fearful and intimidating leadership. We believe everyone can and should enjoy their work, but it must start with the leadership leading by example. Follow our community of leaders HERE, and let's change the leadership status quo to help inspire and motivate our leaders to make a difference and create an organization their people will love.

You can pick up your copy of my book The Inspirational Leader, Inspire Your Team To Believe In The Impossible by clicking the link below

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