Leadership gurus have made a fortune defining what leadership is and most men and women aspire to be identified as representative of the elevated stature associated with being a “leader.” Leaders have followers – they are purportedly charismatic and transformational. Managers have subordinates – they are transactional and influence through the authority provided them.
One recognizes that a transformational leader may also function as a manager, but the average manager cannot hope to attend a “leadership” course and learn how to be charismatic – how to inspire others to “follow” you. I hate to be cynical about something that on the surface appears to be a noble objective, but it is hard to overlook the facts: over the last thirty years the role of manager has been defined and redefined by book writers, consultants, and academics as facilitators, coaches, mentors, team leaders, servants, now leaders. The emphasis on leadership is likely to change its theme at any time.