Leadership and management are very different skills. Yet most of the time, we expect corporate executives to wow us with their detail-oriented approach to management and then suddenly metamorphose into visionary leaders the moment they’re promoted. It doesn’t usually work out, says Annmarie Neal, the author of the forthcoming Leading from the Edge (ASTD Press, 2013).
A leader is somebody who sees opportunity and puts change in motion. A manager is somebody who follows that leader and sees how to structure things to create value for the company,” she says. “I’ve found that the best leaders weren’t really good managers.