One of the questions I am most frequently asked is what are the key differences between a leader and a manager, and this is the best quote I have ever read. It succinctly describes those differences.
“There is a difference between leadership and management. Leadership is of the spirit management is of the mind. Managers are necessary, but leaders are essential. We must find managers who are not only skilled organizers, but inspired and inspiring leaders.” – Field Marshall Slim
I believe that you can buy someone’s physical presence, but you cannot buy loyalty, enthusiasm, or devotion – these you must earn.
Successful organizations have leaders who focus on the future rather than cling to the past. Leaders bring out the best in people. They spend time developing other people into leaders.
In my view, these are the qualities of a true leader:
Leaders have a clear vision of what they are working towards. They don’t keep their vision a secret – they communicate it to their people.
Leaders are consistent. They keep their principles and values at all times.
Leaders can and will do what they expect of others. They are prepared to walk the talk.
Leaders are not threatened by competence. They enjoy promoting people and are quick to give credit to those who have earned it.
Leaders enjoy developing their people into leaders, not followers. They train people to take on more challenging tasks and responsibilities – they develop people’s confidence.
Leaders don’t betray trust. They can treat confidential information professionally.