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  • Donald E. Hester

Define what a manager is as compared to a leader

Leaders can be at any level of the organization.

Managers are a position within the organizational hierarchy.

Leaders produce change by establishing direction, aligning people, motivating, & inspiring.

Managers produce change by planning and budgeting, organizing and staffing, & controlling.

Managers have subordinates. (Does not mean the subordinates are willing)

Leaders have followers. (Implies willingness of the follower)

While these are not my words but the words of W. G. Bennis in his book "Managing the Dream: Leadership in the 21st Century", I have found them to be one the most powerful illustrations in this area.


The manager administers; the leader innovates

The manager is a copy; the leader is the original

The manager maintains; the leader develops

The manager focuses on systems and structure; the leader focuses on people

The manager relies on control; the leader inspires trust

The manager has a short-range view; the leader has a long-range perspective

The manager asks how and when; the leader asks what and why

The manager has an eye on the bottom line; the leader has an eye on the horizon

The manager accepts the status quo; the leader changes it

The manager is the classic soldier; the leader is not dependent on others

The manager does things right; the leader does the right thing


"Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things." - Peter Drucker


Good resources:

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