Lead From Behind

One of the most difficult things any leader can do is to find the balance between leadership and submission. We often think of a leader as the person out in front. We think of leadership in terms of authority and power. However, leadership is much more about influence than an exercise of power.

There are two ways a person can lead. They can lead from the front dragging followers behind them by a leash. This produces obedient if not often frustrated followers. The problem is that leading in this way limits those that you lead. The leash only goes so far before they get choked out. You lead by dragging them where you want them to go.

However, influential leadership is leading from behind, the second and better way to lead in my opinion. It is like getting behind people with a "cattle prod." There is little limit to how far they will go, but sitting still or going the wrong way quickly becomes uncomfortable. You lead by influencing what they want to do and where they want to go.

What do I mean by all of that? I mean that great leadership happens when you get behind people and push. I don't mean push them so hard they fall down, but push and encourage them. Motivate people and give them guidelines. Don't give so many guidelines that you restrict innovation and creativity, but give them enough to manage and maintain.

Why is this so important? Many people lead from a place of submission. Actually as believers, we all lead from a place of submission. We never really lead from the first chair. If you are trying to lead from the front while you are in the middle, you'll find yourself stressing out over the balance between leading and submitting. Instead, humble yourself and lead from behind. From your new perspective, you'll have a clear view of your leader's direction and your followers' path forward.

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