Do you Lead by Example? By Delegation? Or From the Back?

by / ⠀Startup Advice / September 16, 2010

Leadership is eminent in all walks of life, professions and all industries. Without leadership, nothing will ever move forward, people would not have the desire to move forward and be winners. Moreover ideas on leadership are many times one tracked and ambiguous. Most believe to be a leader you have to make all decisions, or you have to be the first to do something, you have to know the most, be the best….be perfect.

Now there are many ways to lead but only a few that I practice and one that I will touch on. My three go to ways to lead is leading by example, by delegation, and from the back. Now the first two may be quite obvious but the third is many timesnot utilized but can be the most effective.

Moreover, this method produces more result when you are working with a team of your peers, which is the case in most situations. To clarify leading from the back doesn’t mean to just sit in a corner and watch and only speak when something is wrong. Leading from the back means to share your leadership with those that you are leading. Shedding the image of an authoritarian, tyrant, or parent. There is a leader in everyone and with this method you allow your team to develop as leaders of their own.

Leading From the Back

Leading from the back is extremely beneficial, in part, it makes everyone feel empowered. Thus by empowering your team it motivates them, makes them feel that they truly matter as a part of the team, which they should. On the other hand if your team isn’t empowered and motivated in achieving the goals you set out for, you are more likely to fail. In addition, it is not only advantageous to empower your team but it will also be a great learning experience for you as a leader. As I stated earlier, there is a leader in everyone and to lead from the back you must bring out those qualities. Although many people do not hold all the bewildering “qualities” of a leader, every person on the team will have something they can contribute.

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As a leader leading from the back you will be able to learn more about how to lead your team, you won’t look inadequate because you can’t answer all questions or accomplish every task. Moreover, leading from the back can be performed in many different ways. To provide an illustration, you can simply lead from the back by learning something new and applicable towards your leadership from your team mates. This will show the team member that they play a significant role in the team. Also you can lead from the back by simply staying quiet. Allow your team members to work out solutions and goals with little direction. As you stay quiet you will have the chance to draw out the leadership qualities in each of your team members. Furthermore, a leader that does so from the back is likely to provide more guidance rather than demands. Lastly, do not rely on your team member to take on the full responsibilities of a leader, because that will make you look inadequate. Yet, give them the opportunity to be leaders in their own respect.

If you lead from the back you will empower your team, to become motivated towards reaching the same goals. Also with this method you will gain respect of your members. It will show that you respect them as well and, in turn, they will respect you. Lastly, leading from the back allows you to learn about the qualities of your team and also to learn applicable qualities you may not possess so you can become a better leader.

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You would get further leading a team of leaders than just pulling dead weight. empower your team!

Opeyemi Thomas is the owner of CaterTime Concierges

About The Author

Matt Wilson

Matt Wilson is Co-Founder of Under30Experiences, a travel company for young people ages 21-35. He is the original Co-founder of Under30CEO (Acquired 2016). Matt is the Host of the Live Different Podcast and has 50+ Five Star iTunes Ratings on Health, Fitness, Business and Travel. He brings a unique, uncensored approach to his interviews and writing. His work is published on, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, Huffington Post, Reuters, and many others. Matt hosts yoga and fitness retreats in his free time and buys all his food from an organic farm in the jungle of Costa Rica where he lives. He is a shareholder of the Green Bay Packers.


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