Anytime we talk about leadership, the picture that is easy for us to see is someone who calls the shot, directs everyone, or makes decisions. We usually visualize the leader as the one in the front; the one who visibly makes others do the work. However, leadership is much more than providing direction or even influencing others. A real leader does not only influence, but also provides support while allowing others to express their own leadership. After all, the hallmark of leadership is the building of other leaders. What kind of a leader are you? Are you the lone star that performs for the whole world to see or you are the source of illumination and support for others?
Leading from behind means empowering others to innovate, make decisions and take initiative. The reason many people have reached a plateau in their leadership, with their ability capped, is that they are always holding the steering wheel, not allowing anyone else to drive. Every leader can only do so much, no matter how skilled or talented we are. The way to multiply our effort is to build other leaders and empower them to do what we would not have done singlehandedly. Those who understand this principle focus on becoming leaders of leaders. They lead from behind, providing coaching, support, and empowerment for others.
Do you always or sometimes find yourself not being able to let go and let others take the lead? Are you sometimes worried that someone else may not do the job as well as you would? Well, think about the impact that you alone can make, and then think about the impact that five other leaders can make when combined. Anyone that would not let go, build others, and let them help, will eventually get worn out. They will experience the “law of diminishing returns”. The way to maintain a vibrant, growing, and effective leadership is to reproduce greater leaders in others and empower them to express their leadership. Start leading from behind.
Actions for the week
A quote to remember
Leaders inspire others to become better at learning, doing, growing, and becoming. – Dele Ola
Until another time,
Dele Ola, Award-Winning Author of Be A Change Agent
Click HERE to learn about and get copies of Dele’s Books