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A leader or a manager?

We have a big unknown before us at that moment, when we have to determine, whether someone is a leader, or a manager.

This topic is neither easy nor superficial, in contrast, it is an important starting point for determination of the things an executive person should be doing. The history insists that a manager is a leader at the same time.

The reality differs at this point, and clearly defines the difference between a manager and a leader, as the leader gets the power from his/her followers, whilst a manager gets the power from his superior.

A manager, for successful management and leadership of his team, needs to have perspective, personal matureness, willingness to take responsibility and decision making on him/herself, as well as a wide range of professional, organizational and communicative skills.

In comparison with that, a manager, who is a leader at the same time, stimulates the workers´ energy, gives them self-confidence and drags forward with his/her personal commitment. He/she does not “stand“ against colleagues and subordinates, thus “above“ them, but, on the other hand, “with“ them and shows the direction.

If we come to think about some significant personalities, like Perón, Mussolini, Hitler or Churchill, they all had something unique, special and unknown, which we call charisma.

Barack Obama is a charismatic leader, who can convey the message, that he is a very good presenter and he knows, how to stand on the side of the people.

Charisma is a quality, which is undefinable. As opposed to intelligence or patience, it invokes the effect of people following the person, who has charisma.

Every team must have its leader, because without him/her, it just stumbles blindly in a vicious circle. If a sports team does not have a strong leader, or loses him/her, its results decline rapidly and success is miles away.

Steve Jobs – Charismatic head of Apple

It is even more important to have a leader in every work team. Without him/her, it is very difficult to reach the goals set. It is a common reality that managers cannot see the difference and reach their goals with their formal power – the powers they were entrusted with. This strategy is very often short-sighted, though, and above all, non-functional from a long-term perspective.

A leader is the example. If a team lacks a leader, the strongest and most successful members gradually leave to search for the leader elsewhere, or, respectively, become the leader themselves.
Above the head of every manager, this question hangs like a sword of Damocles.

Am I a manager, or am I a leader?

And what about you, have you answered the question for yourself?

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