Is leadership from the front over rated?

Is leadership from the front over rated?

I was for many years a forthright exponent of there is only one form of leadership model…You know the one the only way to lead is from the front.. Over the top chaps and all that. Then I saw a talk by Derek Sivers on Ted What a great Idea Ted is !

Essentially whilst being innovative and a first mover and you could say having a little guts is absolutely a component of leadership without the first follower you could be just a wild guy in the wilderness. The key to a movement or in a leadership sense encouraging your team to come with you is that you need followers. Derek argues that this person is perhaps the most important person in that it takes real leadership to follow someone else.

I would also say that it is probably more than that in that at Executive or leadership level in that it takes some hefty setting aside of ego to follow someone when corporate breast beating is the norm.

Derek in his transcript says:

“The biggest lesson, if you noticed — did you catch it? — is that leadership is over-glorified. That, yes, it was the shirtless guy who was first, and he’ll get all the credit, but it was really the first follower that transformed the lone nut into a leader. So, as we’re told that we should all be leaders, that would be really ineffective.

If you really care about starting a movement, have the courage to follow and show others how to follow.And when you find a lone nut doing something great, have the guts to be the first one to stand up and join in.

You can find the talk here