Be a great leader; lead from the back

Leadership, we hear about it every single day. We are given tips and tricks to be the best of the best, the greatest of the great, to lead from the front and to let the world know of our many successes. We inflate our accomplishments, fake it until we make it, share, promote and tell the world why they should follow us and then we tell them if they do, they too can lead from the mountaintop.

The danger with this is that it is self-serving and short lived. Sure, there may be some success but after close inspection we may find that the motives behind this method are somewhat suspect and in the long run will dry up causing the leader to have to constantly recreate their plan.

So, what should we do? Lead from the back.

Leadership is not about who did what, who got what or who should get the credit. Leadership is about taking a team and moving a project forward toward a goal. Leadership should not be “ I ” centered and if it is, then you don’t have a team, you have a solo project. True leadership is a process of social influence which maximizes the efforts of others toward accomplishing a goal.

To be a great leader you must lead by example. In addition, you should;

  1. Remain laser focused on the vision.

  2. Be authentic, explore where you and your team need to improve because there is always room.

  3. Understand and acknowledge that you don’t know everything. Rejoice in the fact that your team, the team that you selected with your good judgement also knows a thing or two.

  4. Lead from your previous successes and failures and be willing to admit that you have both.

  5. Stand ready to assist your team hands on and to provide them with the resources that they need to reach the goal.

  6. Encourage them along the way and let them know how much you value their contribution.

  7. Admit that you cannot do it without them. A team takes more than one person and each member brings something valuable and needed to the table.

  8. Train your team members, really train them. Put personal insecurities aside and seek to make each member better than yourself. You team is only as good as its weakest member.

  9. Be available and ready to carry the load for those who find themselves unable.

  10. Believe in your team and help them to go beyond what they think that they can.

  11. Reward your team and finish well.

JoAnn Johnson BA.MBA/HCM

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