Are You a Manager or Leader? Here's How to Tell

Sophie Miura

When you think about your next career milestone, what comes to mind? If you're toiling away at a mid-level role, the next step could be to become a manager—but have you thought about becoming a leader? Yes, there's a difference, and knowing which category you fall into could help you not just score a promotion but become an inspiration to the people you interact with daily. Forbes has pinpointed some of the key attributes that separate managers from natural leaders. Ready to take the next step in your career? Answer these simple questions to find out which camp you're in.

Do you self-reflect?

How often do you take a step back from daily tasks and reflect on your own work quality and style? According to Forbes, managers are traditionally outward focused, while leaders are more self-aware and believe it's important to constantly evolve. 

Do you believe employees should create their own role?

The way you think about job roles says a lot about your leadership or management style. Managers adhere to a strict job description and see value in employees who fulfil their designated role, while leaders prefer people to look beyond the job description and show initiative to create their own role. 

What is your vision?

Leaders have a defined vision and try to excite those around them by sharing their overarching goal. On the other hand, managers focus on mechanical tasks and make sure the day-to-day running of the business is going to plan. They are more task-oriented than aware of a bigger goal. 

Do you value skills over energy?

Managers abide by the belief that workers are interchangeable and base hiring decisions on skill set. A key trait of natural-born leaders is that they look more closely at people's off-résumé talents and natural energy. Leaders will invest in people they believe could be a good cultural fit for a role, even if it involves extra training, while managers search for candidates to get the job done.

Looking to flex your leadership skills? Shop the book below then visit Forbes to learn more

Are you a natural leader or manager, and has it impacted your career? Tell us in the comments below. 

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