As I was sifting through some old clippings, I reread an article from on the differences between managing and leading.

Leaders, the article said, are the heart of a business. Managers are the brains of a business. That’s as true today as it was in 2002, when the article was published.

While managers hold employees accountable to the expectations, rules and guidelines of a business, leaders influence employees by making them feel valued and respected.

Successful entrepreneurs know how to meld the best attributes of both managing and leading, and it’s a process. As Vince Lombardi once said, “leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile.”

You can learn leadership skills, and the strengths that go with them. Things like courage, challenging yourself and recognizing opportunities. Here are a few other attributes of a leader.

  • Leaders solve problems and go above and beyond.
  • Leaders are big picture visionaries.
  • Leaders proactively anticipate changes and problems.
  • Leaders are accountable and hold others accountable as well.
  • Finally, leaders are influential.

Clergyman John C. Maxwell said “a leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way.”

Does this sound like you now, or are these attributes you can work towards? Rather than waiting for the opportunity to arise, why not start developing those skills now.

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