Management and leadership go hand in hand. Both are important and both are necessary, but they aren’t the same thing. When Warren Bennis wrote the business best-seller “On Becoming a Leader,” he drew some distinctions between the two.

  • Managers administer. Leaders innovate.
  • A manager is a copy. A leader is an original.
  • Managers accept the status quo. Leaders change it.
  • Managers rely on control. Leaders inspire trust.
  • Managers have their eye on the bottom line. Leaders have their eye on the horizon.

In today’s workplace, management and leadership are not easily separated. People look to their managers not just to assign them tasks, but also to define them a purpose.

Understand the traits of leadership so you can cultivate it within your company.

A Service Mindset

To lead people, you must focus on serving them. Leaders give, give and give some more. They prioritize the success of their team and their organization over their personal interests.

  • Leaders put their employees’ interests first. They level obstacles to success, streamline processes, find needed resources and keep political nonsense at bay.
  • Leaders are never bullies. They make it part of their ongoing contribution not to be hasty or unfair. Rather, they power all they have into great ideas, thoughts and vision based on teamwork.

Honor, Guts and Risk Taking

To talent people, popularity is nice, influence is a means, acting honorably is the ideal and getting things done is the point. They want leaders who share that spirit.

  • Leaders stand up for what’s best for customers, employees and society – even if it means putting their own necks on the line. They champion the important ideas and pick the right battles. They confront issues, not matter how unpleasant or unpopular. They don’t look the other way, even if their superiors adopt shady practices or engage in conflicts of interest.
  • Leaders are not afraid to do what they believe. They take on risks; for instance, projects that nobody else wants to touch. They push the envelope, admit to their mistakes and take responsibility for everything that has their fingerprint on it.

Unbridled Passion

Employees want to know they’re part of a greater purpose. They want to feel essential and share in the benefits and rewards of success. Great leaders acknowledge this. In doing so, they inspire their teams to greater heights through passion.

  • Leaders look for “aha” moments. They dream of the points when they and members of their team can say, “That’s me. I made that.” They know these moments are rare, precious – and achievable.
  • Leaders are mindful of opportunities everywhere. They don’t need to create them, just identify and pursue them.


Great leaders don’t “demand” excellence. They do set the bar high and expect big things every day. They push continuous learning and improvement. Leading by example, they hold others accountable for sharing the load and celebrating success.

  • Leaders are fair and respectful. If they ever show favoritism, it’s strictly on the basis of proven performance. They realize their job is to raise others to their level and beyond. That’s why their teams outperform the rest.

For additional resources on developing leadership skills in yourself, your teams and your organization, contact the team at Magellan Search & Staffing today.