Leading from the Front

Where is the best place for a leader to be? In the Front, in the middle, or the back? There are varying opinions on the best place for a leader. For example, leading from the Front means that leaders play an active and visible role in the everyday running of an organization.   Leading from the back allows others to believe they are in Front. And leading from the middle means leaders are equal and have better all-around views and communication.

Leading From the FrontLeading from the BackLeading from the Middle
• Leaders connect with:
• Team members
• Customers
• Stakeholders
• Build trustEarn respect.    
• Team members gain confidence
• More productive leaders
• Good delegators and willing to allow the team to learn from mistakes.
• Bring out the best in others
• Everyone is a leader and a follower
• Facilitate open dialogue
• Become a good listener
• Allows for greater flexibility
• Eliminates silos
• Choose to lead

Many leaders feel that they cannot ask their team to do something they are unwilling to do themselves. The topic of leadership dates back to Socrates. What is the best place to lead from, the Front, middle, or back? There is no definite answer here. The best leaders are flexible and can move to the front, middle, and back depending on the individual team member and situation.

As a leader, I had a team that worked well together. At times I would lead from the back, providing the team the opportunity to take the lead and offering support and guidance when needed. Other situations meant that I had to step in and lead from the Front to help take control during a crisis. Leading from the middle is observing others and listening. Leading from the front means that you ask more questions and help guide the team to have a dialogue to reach a solution together.

The most powerful leadership tool you have is your own personal example.

Components of a good leader:

  • Solid work ethic
  • Technical/skill competency and knowledge.
  • Commitment to the company/organization
  • Take the initiative, offer assistance to others
  • A perpetual student is always striving to learn more and be better than yesterday.
  • Solid communicator Ask good questions and allow others the opportunity to answer.

Being a leader is about striving to be your best every day, holding yourself to the same standards to which you have others, and being a role model to those around you.