I stumbled upon this web post today... Couldn't have said it any better myself.
What an architect actually is:
An architect is a........
Manager, facilitator, creative problem solver, manager, decision planner, decision maker, salesman/presenter, writer, draftsman, artist, designer, manager, analyst, organizer, scheduler, advisor, researcher, student, transcendent paradigm shifter, manager, prioritizer, manager, prioritizer, estimator, magician, pencil-pushing hardnose academic who has never worked a day in construction, arbitrator, explorer, manager, salesman/presenter, LISTENER, and manager.
What an architect actually does:
Tries to identify, analyze and solve 4 dimensional (space AND time) problems on the following levels and from simultaneously varying scales from microbes to planet:
1. UTILITY : what functions are needed and how and when will they be served. Aesthetics are a function too.
2. IMPACT : what will the initial and life-cycle impact be on economy, society, culture, physical environmental, human health, human mind, human spirit, and general resources and how and when will that be allocated and documented.
3. FEASIBILITY : can, how, when, and why will this endeavor take place and how will it meet the UTILITY and IMPACT parameters.
.....and does all this while managing clients, consultants, staff, communication, and information.