Real leaders “lead.” No, I’m not just stating a simpleton observation. I mean they truly “lead.” You know, from the front… not the middle or the rear.
Good employees want to be led. Great employees need to be led. Both need a leader in front for them to follow, not to be drug along as if a lead weight, nor pushed and prodded like a reluctant mule.
To lead, there’s no option – you must be out front.
I once worked with a Chairman/CEO who appeared, for all intents and purposes, to be a collaborative and participative leader with his senior staff. He would get them together frequently, solicit and facilitate their ideas, then act only on their consensus.
That’s not leading, it’s managing. Worse, it’s managing by committee, and we all know the perils there.
Let’s be clear; soliciting input, direction, and advice is critical for successful leaders to make decisions . But when all is said and done, the leader needs to make the decision, and then hold him or herself accountable for the results. Yes, we hold other managers and professionals accountable for their pieces of the decision’s outcome, but “group” accountability is tantamount to no accountability at all.
Don’t forget to really lead.