Tag Archives: followers think they have achieved something themselves

To Get Ahead Lead From Behind

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

 Here’s an idea to help you lead your team more effectively with less effort. Reading time: 2:34.

         Relax, dear reader. Take off your shoes and socks.  Sit back and put your bare foot up on your desk or on the dash board the next time you’re a passenger in a vehicle. Then focus on your big toe. Now concentrate on your four other toes.

        And ponder this caption that John Long posed to his Lumpy Gravy comic strip readers as they looked at the exact picture you are looking at right now: your big toe and four other toes all in a row on your bare foot. The caption read:

     “What the big toe thinks about: I don’t know if I’m at the front of the line or the back.”

       Leaders know. The big toe is at the back.

      The most effective leaders I have known lead from the rear.  In fact in his autobiography, Nelson Mandela equates the behavior of a shepherd with the actions of a great leader.

    The shepherd stays behind the flock  “letting the most nimble” sheep  go out ahead ” whereupon the others follow, not realizing that all along they are being directed from behind.”

        Indeed, leading from behind is  critical especially in spearheading innovative behavior, observes Nancy Hill, writing in the Harvard Business Review, 

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