Contrary to what you might believe, management is not leadership - managers are not necessarily leaders. In other words, managing is not the same thing as providing leadership. We use that term loosely and are thus misled by it. A person who has position power in an organization is not magically transformed into a leader merely by calling him or her one. Some key points to consider:
- Managers are appointed by their bosses. Leaders have to earn a leadership role by being endorsed by their constituents. Managers hire subordinates. Leaders have to earn their followers.
- Responsibility is not the same thing as leadership. Managers think of themselves as responsible for the outcomes. Leaders think of themselves as responsible for the people who make the outcomes happen. Managers require people to do things right. Leaders lead people to do the right things.
The list of differences is lengthy. But what's most to the point here is the mistaken belief that becoming a better and better manager will eventually turn that person into a leader. This will not happen. Those who do not deeply comprehend those differences will never become leaders, no matter how good they get at managing.
The managerial mindset takes you down a path that is contrary to the path of leadership. Under the influence of this mindset, managers do not think like leaders do. Thus managers do not make decisions or take actions like leaders do.
Managers organize for what's likely or what's possible - leaders for what is unlikely or for what is deemed at the outset to be impossible. Leaders have a lust to experience the world of which they have a vision - beyond the possible.
Remember, it is our mindsets that lead us, that take us where they go. In this case, our conventional Western managerial mindset can be a serious obstacle to the kind of thinking required to pursue a great achievement. Mindsets are bundles of habits - and our habits will take us in the direction they aim, not necessarily in the direction we aim.