Have you assumed the correct Leadership position?

Leadership is such an interesting topic, one that I speak on and talk about often.  I have also had the opportunity to practice this art and science in many episodes of my life, even now.

Leadership position is a crucial issue to consider and I think it is something that many leaders don’t give enough attention to.  My intent today is to speak about the most common types of leadership positioning and comment on when to assume each of these.

When I think of leadership position, I think of these most common places to lead from:

  • leading from the front-my assumption is that most of us think of leaders being the person who is in front, making the charge; the lead dog in the pack, the one taking all of the risks and encouraging the group to keep moving; the biggest challenge with frontal leaders is that they can sometimes lose sight of their followers and they may turn around and see that no one is behind them
  • leading from the side-leading from the side is an important role and this is needed in cases where the group or team needs someone to guide them, but not necessarily pull them; the sideline leader can almost be a “player coach” who participates in the work of the group while working to develop others to lead in the future-sideline leaders can be hampered when they have a group that is not mature enough for this style and who might lose sight of the goal or lose energy when they need to keep moving
  • leading from the rear-this is the style that I think many have difficulty with; leading from the rear is almost a mentoring style of leadership and this kind of leader can provide great insight and wisdom for a team that has other emerging leaders who need a sounding board or a resource as they continue to stretch their wings-back seat leaders such as this type can be hampered if they act too much or act too little; there is a lot of “feel” involved, almost intuition, to measure the needs of the group and respond accordingly

Leadership is situational (thank you Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson) and knowing the needs of the group and the needs of the situation will dictate just which of these three styles to engage.

I’ll be back next week with more insight and suggestions about how to best practice each of these three styles.