We already know the difference. Leaders lead, managers manage! Do we really understand the difference unless we see and experience for ourselves?
In this age of multi-tasking corporate environment, leaders are expected to have managerial qualities while we expect some key leadership abilities in managers. This is quite a demanding situation. It might be as unrealistic as to expect two different genetic compositions to be present in the same cell! Well, exceptions are there.
While we can go on and on to explain the two different compositions of leaders and managers, let me present a metaphor that I found really compelling. Remember playing with balloons in our childhood? We used to have two types of it: one filled-in with just regular air, you could throw it to other kids and play with it. It will just gravitate to the ground unless we punch it up and keep it floated in the air. Yea, lots of fun, it worked right for us. The other kind was gas balloon. It was filled-in with Hydrogen or light gas that would cause the balloon to go up unless you tie it and put it in your hand. That was even funnier and smarter way of playing with balloons. Sometimes we let them loose and watch them hit the ceiling. They would make us look upward all the time. No matter what the height is of your room, they would always hit the ceiling, making us jump high to catch them up. Sometimes, we used to tie up the regular balloons with gas balloons. Imagine which one would lead what to the ceiling.