Quiz: Are you a manager or a leader?


Who’s more integral to a successful business? The fantastic manager who deals with the everyday people and process issues that threaten to push productivity and wellbeing off course? Or the visionary, entrepreneurial leader whose vision of the future transforms the destiny of sluggish corporation?


“Too many kings can ruin an army.”

Homer, Greek author


The honest answer is that both are absolutely essential for success. But very few people embody both the traits of a fantastic manager and a great leader.

Take our quiz to uncover the nuanced differences between the two styles, find out where your core strengths lie and how you can begin to develop elsewhere – after all, a good manager needs to inspire her team just as a grand leader must manage the troops when the going gets tough.


1. Thinking about your network outside of your reporting line (your manager and direct reports), which two of the following four options best apply to you?


People outside my reporting structure often come to me wanting advice



People outside my reporting structure generally come to me when they need my help implementing a task


My online network is made up of varied people from all walks of life with whom I like to share my ideas


My online network is made up of colleagues past and present who may be useful to me in future


2. You’re in a brainstorm when a brilliant new idea is proposed. Everyone agrees it should be implemented immediately. Choose the two options that most closely match your initial thoughts:


If we go with this idea now, what could this division or department look like in three year’s time?



What resources will my team and I need in order to be able to implement this idea as effectively as possible?


How can this idea be best communicated to a wider team so that everyone else gets on board?


Who are the best people to be on the project task team?


3. A project you’re close to is veering off track. Your two preferred methods to correct the situation are:


Gather the team and agree a new way for moving forward with renewed energy, focus and commitment.


Speak to individuals concerned to establish how, where and why things started going wrong.


Reiterate the desired outcome and galvanise the team’s ideas in looking for a different path.


Look closely at roles and responsibilities on the team. Are there any gaps or issues that need to be addressed?


4. In their annual performance review, a key member of staff admits they’re looking for more creative opportunities. Which of the following two tactics are you more likely to take?


Say: “Over the coming year we will work together to shape how creative ideas are made and implemented within our department.”



Say: “Over the coming months I want you to consider how you could make your role more creative and report back to me.”


Commit to looking for stretch assignments that may keep your employee happy while adding value to the organisation.


Commit to discussing the situation with others to bring about a solution that works for your employee without impacting your workload or team.


5. Choose two of the following word groups that most appeal to you.


Creativity, imagination, future.


Tough, analytical, structured.


Power, influence, personal.


Hierarchy, authority, command.


6. It’s come to your attention that a competitor is about to launch a product which could negatively impact your business. Which two of the following options are your most likely reactions?


See this as an opportunity for a thorough overhaul of existing ways of working.



Look for ways to safeguard your product in the short-term while a longer-term plan is developed.


Weigh up the true risk to your business and decide whether a calculated risk of your own might be the best way forward.


Set about conducting a thorough analysis of everything you know about the competitor products – knowledge is power.


7. An employee isn’t performing to your desired standard. Your very first tactics (before any action is taken) are likely to be (pick two)…


Look for areas in which you can coach the employee to enhance their output.



Look at their goals and talk to them to establish why certain areas are falling by the wayside.


Rely on your authority as their boss to encourage them to step up to the plate.


Rely on their commitment to the organisation and their personal goals to encourage them to step up to the plate.  


Your results

Add up your total answers for each shape. If you scored mostly ★ and * you are a leader. If you scored mostly ⌘ and ✜ you are mainly utilising your strengths as a manager. An even split or a combination of the two means you are utilising both sets of skills – it may be that you have just stepped into your first leadership role and are learning to navigate the transition, or just that you are one of the few individuals who possess the qualities of both strong management and great leadership. Remember, whatever your score, both skillsets are learned rather than inherent skills; and it may be that your answers were dictated by the demands of your present role rather than an indication of your capabilities.

★* Great leaders want to succeed and surpass what went before, recognising that they too will be succeeded and surpassed. They are able to bring others on the journey with them through infectious motivation and enthusiasm. They are focussed on the ‘bigger picture’ and watch ideas being implemented today with an eye on how this affects tomorrow. They focus on the strengths of those around them, while taking pleasure in coaching and mentoring others. They lead by example, have far-reaching networks in which they are able to extend their influence, and encourage those in ‘stuck’ thinking by discussing how they can move forward as a unit.

Further explore the strengths you can utilise now or in a future leadership role in the everywoman Network workbooks Knowing your strengths and Career planning.

⌘ ✜ Great managers drive workers forward, using power and authority to make things happen. When it comes to a project or task, they know how it should be done, and give clear and direct instructions, stepping in quickly to assess problems as they arise and altering the plan accordingly. They appreciate recognition and enjoy the feeling that their skillsets are in demand. Though appreciative of great ideas, the real benefit of a great manager is in the execution of clear targets, well laid out plans and careful monitoring of progress. Discover more with our Quiz: Discover your management style. Or begin to incorporate leadership qualities into your repertoire of skills via the everywoman Network workbooks Stepping into leadership, Risk taking for greater success and Visualisation for career success: a beginner’s guide.


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