There has been a lot written about the difference between managing and leading over the years. I particularly like the four important characteristics of leadership taken from the work by James Kouze & Barry Posner, summarised here as:
- Honest: leaders are expected to be truthful, ethical and act in a principled manner. In order to gain trust, their words and behaviour need to be consistent.
- Competent: leaders must be credible and capable of carrying out what they are responsible for in order for people to follow them.
- Forward Looking: leaders must be concerned with the long term, clearly setting, communicating and steering direction.
- Inspirational: people follow those who are passionate, energetic and real, inspiring us with their confidence and ‘can do’ attitude