Many people think that being a manager or holding a title or position is the same as being a leader but this isn’t actually true. Anyone can give you a title or a position, but you can’t be a leader until someone chooses to follow you. In fact, you don’t even need a title or position to be a leader and just because you do hold a title or position, it doesn’t make you a leader. So how do you know whether you are a manager or a leader? Here are three ways to determine if you are a manager or a leader.

  1. Do you have to incentivize buy-in?

People will go above and beyond for great leaders but managers will often have to offer incentives to get buy-in. To make matters even worse, the worse your management skills are, the higher the incentive you will generally need to offer to get buy-in. For instance, if you don’t plan shift coverage well, it may cost you a small fortune in overtime or PTO. Great leaders, however, can often get extra effort from their people with just a little pep talk.

  1. Do you inspire greatness or manage risk?

Great leaders inspire greatness in their people but greatness doesn’t generally come without some initial failure. In order to have the confidence to try new things, people have to know that their leaders will have their back and support them even when they fail. Managers don’t like failure in any form, so they generally just want people to keep their head down and do their jobs rather than taking any risks.

  1. Are you willing to do the jobs no one wants?

One of the first things managers often do when they get a new position is to delegate all the jobs they don’t want. Leaders, on the other hand, never consider themselves to be too big or important to do the unpleasant tasks no one wants. That doesn’t mean they never delegate unpleasant tasks, it simply means they are always more than willing to pitch in and do their fair share of dirty work.