Difference Between Leader and Leadership

Beyond the difference between concepts, the leader is understood as a subject who takes leadership actions from a context that meets the conditions for it.

Taking into account the above, a person who acts as a leader is not a leader in all areas of his life, but mainly in those where he must make decisions.

Leadership attitudes correspond to actions that a person takes in a shared context and in which, either by the will of others, or by their own initiative, they take a guiding role in the group's actions.

When leadership is delegated by others to a person, it may be because that person has a democratic, participatory, natural and/or charismatic style that makes the environment trust him and consider him as an individual with the necessary skills to face the direction of group decisions and responsibilities.

On the other hand, an individual may take a more spontaneous position and willingly offer their abilities to guide the course of action. Arguing, based on his experience, technical knowledge or simply because he feels comfortable directing.

Here more authoritarian leadership styles appear , mainly in complex decision-making, where no one feels capable of taking responsibility for the consequences and a person appears who has a solution in mind and faithfully believes in it. As much as to propose it and make others follow it.

Spontaneous leadership situation (from the individual)

Assuming that in a company there is a group of horizontally peers, without higher levels of hierarchy, and suddenly a major earthquake occurs. Things begin to fall, exit routes close and the place does not have an evacuation protocol.

One person takes command and informs everyone where to exit, where to go for safety, and communicates with the emergency units. No one questions him, everyone follows him between nervousness and panic attacks.

This individual has no training in risk prevention, but was able to make a decision by quickly evaluating what would be the best actions to take. Even though he wasn't a hundred percent sure it was the right thing to do, he did it because no one else was going to do it and it was either that or someone would get hurt.

It is possible that this same individual, after having done this heroic action, arrives home and is not the leader within the home. It can be his wife, if he lives with friends, another friend, etc. The context helped him take the lead for a few moments.

So, the leader is understood as a person who takes leadership actions, thanks to situations that allow it and where he can make decisions. Either thanks to the fact that the environment designated him as such, or because he genuinely offered his will to lead it.

Leadership, on the other hand, is a style of carrying out this collective leadership of people, which may be; democratic, participatory, authoritarian, transformational, liberal, paternalistic, or any that fits the personal characteristics of the person who takes on that role.