How do you create a highly dynamic and energetic team of individuals who are result oriented and relationship nourishing? Well you have to stop being in the way. You have to stop being in the center of it all. Instead be the central creator of Positive Energy, the leader of Change and the believer in the power of the individual – Lead from the front but don’t be in front of, or in the way of your people. Let them blossom, let them make mistakes and let them take big swings at things they believe in.
Above photos are from an event in India some years ago where I was pretty much in the Center of things… I was trying to lead from the front and to a large degree I believe I did… if not the results would have ultimately been bad. However, looking back though with hindsight I could have done more. I could have empowered my people further and I could have let others take a larger central role than what I perhaps did. My problem was I wanted to… but I really liked being in the Center of things. I still do… but from a different point of view. A true leader need not self-assurance, need not be the center figure of all that goes on. A true leader surrounds himself/herself with great people and simply let them be… Great! A true leader coaches, nourishes and inspires others to higher performance standards by leading from the front – Leading others in an energetic and energizing way. Leaders will also need to kick some butt from time to time as and when required… Don´t get me wrong Leaders are not here to create a soft and all loving environment where people only get along and where results are left to chance. Hell no! Leaders must be both tough and caring, both in your face and having your back. If you get the best people on board though, you will notice that kicking butt will be needed less frequently.
I truly enjoy being on the stage and doing all that I can to get people going and to energize and stimulate people to take action and to get moving. I enjoy leading teams and being part of making decisions big and small – long and short term. I enjoy drawing up strategies and thinking outside of the norm. I enjoying leading and I enjoy being a leader! I do however, enjoy even more, helping others to grow in their leadership roles. I need not satisfy my wish of being in the center any longer. I am secure in myself, my role and abilities – and flaws for that matter. Though I am far from great, I try to add my contribution and leadership style to the team the best I can. I lead the way but do not always take the lead. I let people try new things, I let people think and come up with ideas and take chances, sometimes even though I know they will fail. (though that is a tough one for me still…) I genuinely believe that in order to be good you have to first be bad. Trial and error speeds up the process somehow.
My point is; it is better and far more sustainable being the central creator of people development than the central figure in every issue, every decision and every task. Get the best people onboard and coach them to be better than yourself (given that you are any good to begin with – of course!) That is not only far more result generating but also far more rewarding both personally and professionally. Putting egos aside, doing what will generate the strongest performance culture and the best results is what Leadership, in my opinion, is all about!