5 Reasons Why Leaders Must Sometimes Take A Back Seat

Gold Fish
This is a guest post by Matt Driscoll, who is the management and Leadership L&D Consultant at Thales.

3 Basic Styles of Leadership

Leadership training is one of the most important and challenging aspects of learning and development, and there are three basic styles of leadership that one can develop: Managerial, Visionary, and Strategic.

Managerial

Managerial leaders focus all their attention on short-term goals and daily needs.  They are reactive, champions of cost-benefit analysis, and often guilty of micromanaging staff.

Visionary

Visionary leaders, on the other hand, focus their attention on the future.  They create a compelling vision of their company’s future and motivate workers to strive toward that goal. However, because they are consumed with plans for the future, visionary leaders neglect the day-to-day operational necessities and current financial realities of their companies.

Strategic

The most effective leadership style is strategic.  Strategic leaders develop compelling visions for the future of their companies and motivate workers to strive toward the common goals they define, while diligently maintaining the short-term financial stability of their business.

Apart from being attuned to both short and long-term needs, strategic leaders set themselves apart by focusing their attention on human capital within their organizations.  In order to move the company forward, leaders must constantly develop the capabilities and competencies of their teams.  Great leaders make those around them better, but they can only do so by coaching, mentoring, trusting, and ultimately giving their teams space to learn and grow through direct experience.

 

“Great leaders make those around them better.”

 

These are five crucial reasons why the most effective leaders often take a back seat:

 

1. To Develop New Leaders

Successful companies cultivate leadership at every level of the business, so rather than creating a workplace dominated by a single powerful figure, companies must encourage new leaders to rise from within the ranks.  Executives must learn to recognize when employees are capable and motivated to fill leadership roles, allowing them to take charge in order to help them develop.

 

“Successful companies cultivate leadership at every level of the business.”

 

2. To Learn

No matter how successful a team leader may be, he or she cannot be right all the time.  The best leaders know their weaknesses and seek guidance whenever they are out of their depth. Whether that means following the lead of someone else within the business or seeking professional development resources elsewhere, good leaders recognize the need for constant learning.

 

“Growing other leaders from the ranks isn’t just the duty of the leader, it’s an obligation.” –Warren Bennis

 

 

3. To Better Allocate Resources

A single person cannot run a business; it takes a team.  Effective leaders, therefore, delegate tasks and trust the guidance of those they give responsibilities to – thus enabling the company to perform tasks properly at a faster rate.

 

4. To Teach

One can only become a leader by leading.  Developing talent within a company often requires handing the reigns to up-and-coming staff members.  Micromanagement stifles growth, and there are many lessons that budding leaders can only learn through direct experience.

 

5. To Build Quality Culture

The best companies are those in which everyone feels like a leader.  These are the businesses where staff are passionate about what they do, motivated to go the extra mile, and eager to fuel innovations that drive the business forward.  A quality culture is one where each employee feels involved in the decision-making process and confident that his or her contributions are furthering the company’s mission.

 

“Visionary leaders focus their attention on the future.”

 

True leaders are coaches, mentors, and inspirations to those who follow them.  By investing in the people around them and setting aside their egos, executives can accomplish far more than they ever could alone.

Have you noticed a leader deliberately taking the back seat? Often it isn't noticed. What would you add? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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