This is a simple exercise to get participants thinking about the difference between ”manager” and “leader”.

Have each participant write down on a piece of paper their definition of a “manager”. Ask some people to share. Expect answers such as “a supervisor”, “person in charge”, “head of a department”, etc.

Now ask them to write down their definition of a “leader”. As before, debrief by having a few members share what they wrote. The typical answers include, “the person setting the goals”, “the one that is followed”, etc. Often, someone will say, “the boss”. When that happens point out the word “boss” refers to a manager.

Although the manager is often a leader many others working at levels other than the boss serve as leaders. See the story of “Maria” on this website as a further explanation. Now point out a sequoia is an example of a leader. It is tall and points most dramatically to the sky, which symbolizes unlimited potential and reaching as far as one can. Yet the sequoia does not “manage” the other things living in the forest near it. Instead it allows the resources they need (sun and rain) to make it to the forest floor so others can thrive.

© 2019 Max Impact Corporation, Rochester Hills, MI USA​