What is the difference between a manager and a leader?

This is an age old question, one which has been debated and argued for many years. Some say there is no difference, others will have a found a definition that satisfies the difference they believe exists, whilst others will simply say "does it really matter at all?"

So, are ‘manager’ and ‘leader’ simply words at the end of the day? Does it really matter what we call people – ‘manager’ or ‘leader’? Isn’t it the behaviours we want to experience, rather than what someone is called, that is important?

And, if it does matter, why do so many organisations continue to hire for the role of ‘manager’ when what they really want are ‘leaders’? Oh, you don’t think organisations do that? So, how come there are so many leadership programmes for ‘managers’?

Maybe it is time to approach this in a different way.

Time to consider this…perhaps the behaviours we experience come from the labels we give to people. After all, if we think someone is miserable, we will find that they act in a miserable way! Conversely, if we believe someone to be happy, we will find that they behave in a happy way.

So, if we take this to be true, instead of defining a difference how about starting with the label we give people. Have the person BE a leader by taking the title of ‘leader’. Perhaps then, you will find that person will DO leadership.