There really is a difference between being a manager and being a leader
Arun Manansingh over at a cio's voice recently had a great post. I was going to include it in one of my Interesting and Useful Links post but I liked it so much that I thought it deserved a special mention all of its own.
Manansingh has done some excellent research and for his post Are You A Leader? (but don't go there quite yet). He list characteristic traits of manager and leaders in a comparison fashion which really highlights the differences.
In reading this, it struck me that many organization have the same characteristics as they take on the traits and characteristics of their managers or leaders. It is common to hear IT folks complain of being thought of as cost centers (and we all want to minimize cost) rather then value adders (where we should invest). I think that if you look at the list you'll quickly recognize cost center IT groups as managers and value adding IT groups as leaders. Ok, now go take a look (but come back, I'm not quite done yet).
I'll close by adding my own comparison which is not too dissimilar to Manansingh's next to last comparison:
Manager (cost center IT): Concerned with process
Leader (value adding IT): Concerned with results
What do you think distinguishes a leader from a manager?