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Quiz: Are You a Manager or a Trailblazer?

(FeatureSource) Ever wonder if you are meant to be in management forever? Or, do you have what it takes to lead your organization to victories previously never even dreamed possible?

“There is a distinct difference between the way a manager and a leader approach their work,” says Dr. Lisa Williams, author of “Leading Beyond Excellence: Discover How to Achieve Leadership Significance and Your Personal Dreams with 7 Practical and Spiritual Steps” (Executive Publishers International, $24.95 at “Once you clarify your current approach, you can identify ways to move yourself into the position you desire.”

Find your leadership quotient and how to advance by taking this quick quiz:

How would you describe your approach to dealing with daily tasks?

    a. I administer tasks.
    b. I innovate new ways to deal with tasks.
    c. I motivate others.

When contemplating your company’s status quo do you…

    a. Accept and maintain company standards?
    b. Challenge the standards and develop new ones?
    c. See beyond the current limitations to what could be?

What two questions do you find yourself asking most often?

    a. “How?” and “When?”
    b. “What?” and “Why?”
    c. “What?” and “How?”

Where do you find yourself most often gazing?

    a. I focus on the bottom line.
    b. I set my sights on the horizon.
    c. I set my vision on the possibilities.

How would you describe yourself?

    a. I imitate other successful people.
    b. I’m an original. There is nobody else like me.
    c. I am constantly growing into the best person I can be.

What do you spend the most time focusing on?

    a. I focus on maintaining my company’s systems and structure.
    b. I focus on inspiring trust in my employees.
    c. I focus on helping others reach their potential.

When the heat is on, how do you approach the situation?

    a. I try to do the right thing and to be a good soldier, even if I don’t really believe in my position.
    b. I do the right thing but always stay true to my own person.
    c. look for the good in every situation and strive to maximize the greatest good for everyone.

If you answered most questions with the letter A, you are a manager. Managers are concerned with ensuring the goals of the organization are met. They have the position in the organization that gives them the authority to accomplish objectives through others. They are excellent enforcers of established rules, while leaders forge new frontiers.

“The majority of people will probably find themselves in this category,” Williams says. “Most corporate development programs are excellent at imparting information about internal operations and management skills but do not focus on the development of leaders.”

To move out of management mode and learn how to become an effective leader, educate yourself in the art of leadership. Read books such as “Leading Beyond Excellence.” Attend seminars and training programs geared specifically for leaders. Begin to look at the big picture and to innovate ideas. Eventually, you will find yourself assuming a more prominent role of leadership.

If you answered most questions with the letter B, you are a leader. Leaders set corporate culture and establish an environment where people can meet organizational goals. Leaders are concerned about motivating others. They set corporate direction and layout plans for meeting or exceeding last year’s goals. They usually create based upon past performance. Leaders build from the past while the trailblazer is creating from the possibilities.

“The sheer number of people leaders influence within their organization and throughout their supply chain today is unmatched in history,” Dr. Williams says. “It’s crucial that leaders begin to shift their focus from what has been done to what can be done.” Reading books and completing the interactive process in “Leading Beyond Excellence” will assist leaders in becoming trailblazers.

If you answered most questions with the letter C, you are a trailblazer. Trailblazers set expectations based on the future and not the past, on opportunities and not limitations. Paraphrasing the words of Robert Kennedy, there are those who look at things the way they are and ask why, while trailblazers dream of things that never were and ask why not? Trailblazers have the power to transform others, organizations and society. They create positive legacies for future generations.

Maybe you need to increase your effectiveness or want to maximize your impact. Take a course in leadership that details the 7-step process for managers to become leaders and leaders to become trailblazers. Dr. Williams offers a leadership education program designed specifically to help aspiring leaders become more effective and inspiring. With a little guidance and self-reflection, you can go from simply being a good leader to being a great leader to becoming a trailblazer.

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To find out more about your leadership style and to discover what you can do to improve, visit and use the free “Leadership Assessment Tool” or purchase your copy of “Leading Beyond Excellence.”

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