So, what is the difference between managing and leading? Managing people means watching them to make sure they do what they’re supposed to do.

Leaders aren’t watch dogs. A leader confidently faces forward with the assumption that their troops will follow because he believes in, and trusts them to do so.

“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things,” said Peter Drucker.

Leaders influence. Managers direct. While it may not be that black and white, leaders generally do focus on “what matters” while managers only focus on “how.” Both use different forms of influence and direction at different times. But leaders have a bias toward innovation and inspiration and lead through advice and counsel, while managers are more likely to command and control.

What’s important for us is searching for a boss that can lead us through our careers-well into our futures. And for that, I think it’s fair to say that we rather support a leader than a manager. Leaders are the ones that will retain us and enfranchise us to drive the brand.

Before you continue reading through this blog, go through this list below and ask yourself, are you working for a manager or a leader?

  • Managers develop policies and procedures. Leaders develop vision and strategy. Managers direct and control. Leaders motivate and inspire.
  • Managers get people to do what needs to be done. Leaders get people to want todo what needs to be done.
  • Managers explain “what we have to do.” Leaders explain “where we are going.” Managers give directions. Leaders ask questions.
  • Managers are concerned with the here and now. Leaders are concerned with the long-view.
  • Managers are bottom-line oriented. Leaders are big-picture oriented.
  • Managers are concerned with projects. Leaders are concerned with people.

The following are four key characteristics to look for in your current or future boss:

They work confidently and with integrity.

A boss who encourages their employees to tackle projects and face tasks without fear of making mistakes is one that can truly lead a strong team. When employees feel they must tiptoe around their superiors, they tend to make more mistakes, sometimes being too fearful to ask questions or for help. A boss that can shepherd a group through challenges, while continuing to meet objectives and goals without faltering is an inspiration and the spearhead of any successful organization.

They are passionate and compassionate.

It’s awesome to work for someone who is truly passionate about their job. Not only does this make work more exciting but you can be assured that every task that’s being assigned is part of a collective vision or big picture. A boss that sees their life’s work as more than just a job is also more likely to treat their employees as equals, within a team, working together to succeed and perform optimally.

They want to see their employees succeed.

Receiving praise from your boss is always a motivator, particularly when they make you feel like a valuable part of a group or operation. Employees that feel appreciated are more likely to put forth their best effort on the job and work harder and smarter, over all. A boss that isn’t afraid to award promotions to deserving employees doesn’t fear that their own value will be reduced. Instead, they are willing to build strong relationships within an organization in order to give recognition to those who are working with ingenuity and creatively.

They communicate clearly and are transparent.

Without clear communication, things in the workplace can go sideways quickly. It’s important for a boss to be transparent with employees, while unequivocally stating their expectations and goals. Having an open channel of communication and frequent interaction, from the top down, is key to any organization. It’s also very important for a supervisor to have communication open as a 2-way street. Bosses who take the time to listen to employee issues and concerns are able to create a productive and comfortable work environment that leads to great success.

Vince Lombardi famously said, “Leaders aren’t born they are made.”