Leading From Behind – A Fearless Leadership
‘Lead from the front or by example’ – almost everyone has heard this. But have you heard of leading from behind? Sounds a bit counterintuitive, doesn’t it?
Leading from behind is just one of multiple effective leadership strategies. It requires leaders to move away from the center-stage. It mandates that leaders get out of the way and let others drive the organization forward.
In the beginning, it’s essential for leaders to lead from the front by demonstrating commitment, willingness to strive, and following a goal to its end-result. But eventually if leaders want to empower their team to work independently, it’s important to relinquish control. Be it a smaller or larger organization, leaders have to learn to delegate to avoid bottlenecks in productivity. It’s obviously easier to go ahead and do the work yourself than show people in your team how it’s done. But the easy way doesn’t necessarily lead to success.
So how do you lead from behind? By allowing subordinates to take routine decisions, find solutions to problems, make mistakes, and learn from them. Leaders need to provide a supportive and cooperative environment to enable this along with empowering team-members to participate and collaborate.
Leading from behind can help leaders find leadership potential in employees. Also, giving the reins to someone else is the only way to continuously groom new leadership talent.
Although it sounds passive, leading from behind is actually active leadership as leaders provide the necessary guidance and control from the background. And when there’s a need for an immediate solution to a problem or in times of crisis, leaders step forward and draw on their insights and experience to take necessary correctional measures.
Leading from behind requires character, vision and selflessness to inspire and empower others to become stakeholders in the organization. Are you prepared to lead from behind?