Just because your business card says manager doesn’t mean you are a Leader!
Two distinctively different abilities by definition.
Manager – a grouping of abilities that provides one knowledge to react and plan for eventual outcomes
Leader – a talent that defines one’s reactionary capabilities and the providing of guidance for others to overcome.
Which grouping do you fit into? They don’t have to be exclusive of one another but most of the time, this is exactly the case. Leaders can be found at all levels of organizations—not exclusively at the top.
I spent time throughout my career working with and for individuals of both varieties. I also have worked with and for individuals that fit neither definition.
For my money, given the opportunity to choose, hands down I would pick the Leader. The challenges, the eventual rewards and the inevitable failures will provide much, much more in long term satisfaction than settling for a Manager.
Count on it!