“Bad leaders care about who is right.  Good leaders care about what is right.”
Simon Sinek

Per the Gallup Organization, 75% of workers who leave jobs do so because of poor relationships with their boss (aka – manager).

Assumption. Everyone reading this is a manager of people, process or project. Even if you are a sole business owner, you’ll sit in the management function because you must run your business. Management is the job of running the business.

    • Needed?…


    • Yes. 


    • Coveted?…


  • Sometimes.

In our signature system, Leadership Mastery™, we always begin by sorting the behaviors and characteristics of managers and leaders to understand the distinction. Imagine a sheet of paper with a line drawn down the middle and on the left side is manager and the right side is leader, what goes in each category?

Manager versus Leader

Managers are responsible for executing and delivering the strategy either through people or process. Your list may include P&L’s, defining goals, hiring and firing, inventory and other executable tasks. You own the daily list; the monthly list; the annual list of things that move your business forward. This is needed in any kind of a business. From a sole entrepreneur to a fortune 500 company, there must be a management process in place.
The Leader board will be different. Here is where you will find inspiration, vision, listening, motivation, and coaching. These are all characteristics that define a quality of being.

There is a distinct difference. Managers are doing and Leaders are being. 

Do you have to be manager to be a leader? No.  A leader can bubble up from any strata of any part of any company. Think about a line level employee who, without title, has a group of people willing to follow their lead?

Positional Power

Here is the important question – have you ever been managed by a manager (maybe this was you) who did not have leadership qualities? This is the manager who has a title and has not yet developed the necessary skills or attitudes to lead, but rather uses positional power to maneuver.

The manager who has not been trained or encouraged to adopt leadership behaviors is trouble waiting to happen.  You might be feared and maybe respected, but never fully followed. When you top-down manage by relying on your title, your employees may never own their own power and never be fully accountable for their own outcomes.  Positional power kills engagement.

Versus Personal Power

A leader works from the inside out with personal power. A leader moves people into action with influence, understanding and managing emotions, empathy and clear communication. The result is that employees are led to their own outcomes, there is a greater likelihood of accountability and people are willing to function as a team.

Now imagine your management duties imbued with leadership qualities. The outcome is likely engagement, satisfaction and enhanced discretionary effort (results!).

The manager tells and the leader influences. Those who are told are taught to be dependent and those who are influenced are taught to think for themselves from a place of purpose.

What kind of business team would you like to manage?

Leadership Tip

If you are ready for a leadership upgrade, take stock of how you are showing up in your business. Make a list of the leadership qualities that are strong in you and those that are not.  From that list, choose an action to practice for the next few weeks to elevate your leadership ability.

Stay Inspired!


Mary Pat Knight, CEO of Leaders Inspired, is a Transformation Strategist, Speaker, Facilitator, and Coach committed to leadership and emotional intelligence in the workplace. She is known for cutting through corporate drama to create laser focus for powerful business and personal results for her clients. 

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Ever Wondered About your own Leadership EQ? Take the Quiz… 

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