Are you a leader in a hurry? Are you rushing to lead? Do you feel urgency to “get your people up to speed?”
Those are all normal circumstances for many leaders, particularly new leaders. But here’s a word of caution. If you go too fast, if you get too far out in front of your people, if you’re dragging them along more than pulling them along you might not be leading them at all.
You may want to consider slowing down to speed up your leadership potential. If your people can only see your back it makes it hard for them to hear what you’re saying. If your people are constantly looking at your back it will be hard for you to show them that you care for them.
If you never slow down enough for your people to catch up then when you do eventually turn around you’ll discover there is no one there. You will have lost the opportunity to lead.
Inexperienced leaders often feel that leadership requires them to be out front at all times. More experienced and successful leaders would tell you that you lead from the middle at times. Other times you’ll have more success actually leading from the rear.
Living out front all the time makes it harder to connect with your people. It separates you from them and only provides you with a one dimensional view of their capabilities. It doesn’t take long for your people to believe you’re disconnected from their world and they are most likely right about that.
It’s tough to coach from out front. The farther out front you are the tougher it is. You’ll discover it’s far more effective to coach your people when you’re along side of them. Your closeness will indicate you care and make it much harder for your people to claim you don’t understand what they are going through.
Sometimes your people will need a push and they only place you can push them when you’re out front is to the rear. To push them forward you must be leading them from the rear. It takes an Authentic Leader to let their people be out front but out front is where the real growth takes place.
Look around. Are some of your people along side of you? Are some of them in front of you? Are they all behind you? Are some of them way behind you? Are all of them way way behind you?
If you don’t like the answers to those questions then perhaps you need to slow down a bit and realize that leading people isn’t a sprint, it’s more like a marathon. It takes perseverance and stamina and heart.
Do you have what it takes to authentically lead? Slow down a bit and consider your answer to that question before rushing to the front of the pack.
6 thoughts on “Fast Leadership”
Great Post. Leadership is fluid. Leading from the front is for walking through hell fire first. Mostly lead from the middle. Sometimes from behind to help stragglers and to stay out of the way. The perspective from behind is very rewarding as you see the team execute without your direct influence. In some ways it validates that you have led.
Great point Bill about leading from behind, the prospective can be very fulfilling.
Reblogged this on Gr8fullsoul.
Good reminder! I know how it feels when followers feel decanted from their journey.
I wrote a blog post on one of my leadership failures. Thought I would like to share with you, if you are interested.
Sure, I’d love to read it although I would say that if you learned from the experience it’s hardly a failure.
Thank you very much for this great post! I really enjoyed reading it! I have recently published an article on my blog about global leadership and it’s impact on us all. If you have time, it would be great if you could read it as I would be interested to hear your thoughts! Thanks 🙂