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How much of a difference do you see between the roles of being a manager and being a director?

SmartPulse -- our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership -- tracks feedback from more than 200,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our newsletter.

 How much of a difference do you see between the roles of being a manager and being a director?

  • There's a world of difference. They're completely separate types of roles. 48.84%
  • There's some difference between them, but not a lot. 36.45%
  • Pretty much no difference -- a director is a glorified manager. 14.71%

The role is what you make it. If you're not seeing a big difference between managers and directors, someone is falling short of making that director role everything it could be. Moving to director is where you make the shift to getting things done through others. The other big shift is moving from having the right answers to asking the right questions. Directors need to see beyond the horizon and ask about the things no one (including themselves) is thinking about yet. Pushing the thinking beyond today's pressing needs is how new opportunities and threats are identified.

 

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS, which includes TITAN -- the firm’s e-learning platform. Previously, he worked at McKinsey & Co., Capital One and Scotts Miracle-Gro. He is a West Point graduate and author of three leadership books: "One Piece of Paper," "Lead Inside the Box" and "The Elegant Pitch."