I've written a great deal about leadership lately, as it's an issue that comes up with many of my clients. Leaders create an environment in which everyone has the opportunity to do work which matches his/her potential capabilities.
As Claude Taylor puts it "Certainly a leader needs a clear vision of the organization and where it is going, but a vision is of little value unless it is shared in a way so as to generate enthusiasm and commitment. Leadership and communication are inseparable".
A leader translates the skills of his/her staff into achievable results by sharing and enabling ownership of a common vision for success.
A manager maintains his/her way is the only way, ruling by influence of power rather than empowerment of others.
A huge difference.
When one believes in a leader's vision, he will do his utmost best to make it a reality. And when one does not, collaboration is not there, disconnect happens and there is a breakdown in process, compromising the possibilty of success. Are you a leader or manager? The proof is in the "what is" not what you perceive it to be. And the level of success is a direct measure of that. The first step is to take notice of what is standing in your way of performing and leading. Most of the time it's getting out of your own way.