Managers have Impact; Leaders Inspire.

Strong Leaders, with the focus on the upside opportunity, present a vision of possibilities.  Strong Managers have impact because they avoid the pitfalls of execution and steer clear of the downsides the most prominent of which is to not get results.

Reflecting on the outcomes of the executive personas of Leaders and Managers prompted a recognition of a third type:  Politician. 

If Managers make impact and Leaders inspire, then Politicians have Influence (isn’t alliteration a great thing in management concepts?  J).  Whereas Impact and Inspiration are always positive, Influence is not necessarily so.  Influence be for good or for bad, but most typically it just involves shuffling around precious resources for neither.

This distinction stemmed back to Dr. John Maxwell’s 5 level model of Leadership.

1

Position

Role

People follow you because they have to

2

Permission

Relationship

People follow you because they want to

3

Production

Results

People follow you because of what you have done for the organisation

4

People Development

Reproduction

People follow you because of what you have done for them

5

Personhood

Respect

Respect People follow you because of who you are and what you stand for

This model also looks at the outcomes that various types of leaders drive and I think maps to the Leader/Manager/Politician distinction.  Level 1 ‘leaders’ are really Politicians.  Level 2 through 4 represent levels of Manager progression and only Level 5 is a true ‘Leader’.

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