Question of the Month: In the Legitimate Leadership Model, what is the difference between leaders and professional managers?
Answer: In organisations today there are a lot of professional managers but very few leaders. The difference between the two is a matter of intent. Professional managers give, but in order to get. A true leader (who may be called ‘manager’) is genuinely there to give.
Professional managers do have relationships with their people built on mutual trust and respect. They do an adequate job of enabling contributions by their people. But their people are still a means to an end. The end is the result. The result comes first and the people second.
Great leaders have it the other way round. Their people come first, before the results. Their people come first in good times and in bad – always. This is because leaders care about their people absolutely.