There is much discourse about what makes a leader. You can spend 30 seconds on LinkedIn and discover 1,000 memes wittily calling ou the difference between leaders and managers. You can spend 5 minutes on Facebook and find 1,000 rants about managers that aren’t leading. You can head over to HBR and read all about the differences between the two from some of the best minds in business.
What you need to know is that leaders care about people. Maybe they are experts in their field, maybe not. Maybe they’ve been with the company for 30 years, maybe not. Maybe they took classes to hone their skills, maybe not. Maybe they are well respected, maybe not. Maybe they are nice people you’d have a beer with after work, maybe not. Leaders come in all kinds of packages, but every form of leader is grounded in the fact that they care about people.
Leadership is about people. This differs from management in that managers are fundamentally focused on the business which may or may not be reliant upon individuals to succeed. The best managers happen to also be leaders but it is certainly not a requirement.
Think through the list of great leaders you’ve encountered in your life.: Pastors, parents, teachers, bosses, TV personalities, neighbors. I will be shocked if every one of the great leaders in your life haven’t cared about people. This doesn’t mean that they care about everyone generally, but they care about the people that are in their sphere of influence.