I believe there is without doubt a difference between being a manager and a leader. Managing people is a skill which can be taught and can be carried out with or without passion. Leadership is the ability to inspire others and to take others on a journey with you as their guide.
I do believe there are born leaders and I can not but only look at the evidence when I say that I am a born leader myself. It is easy to try the difference between those to try to lead and those who can naturally lead others. So we much with little effort but maybe with little thought on how to lead.
We can see the difference between born leaders and managers by comparing Margaret Thacter with John Major and Tony Blair with Gordon Brown. A born leader will have the ability to instil trust and faith into people when the evidence to follow is not there.
I believe I have lead others informally by example and at times my ‘leadership’ has been questioned and challenged as it should be. Not all born leaders have to lead from the front and maybe leaders shine in other ways like Stephen Hawkings. Leadership can often be about having the courage to take a small idea and develop it to its conclusion.
Like in the Life of Brian, born leaders can not often escape from who they are and need to embrace the gift given to them.