Why isn’t one leader Out Front Always? Because wise leaders adjust the pace occasionally. A slower pace creates room to consider others and the ramifications of decisions. It broadens a leader’s Perspective.
It’s not always possible, but ideally, one leader falls back while the other goes on ahead. The leader in back attempts a slower pace, and gives more time to checking in with the team, focusing on the quality of the relational air.
The leader out front is unfettered and able to see farther, more clearly, and move quickly. This person is freed up from moving as deliberately, and can create, dream, and gather ideas.
And then the leader out front falls back while the other goes on ahead.
The problem with being a solo act out front for too long, is we easily believe we’re stronger, better, or faster than we really are. Ego can take over, and we can start to think we’ll lead better alone. It’s a tricky path…which is why it’s always good to climb with someone else.
Amazing leaders don’t require that others lead like them – they are able to separate their personal preferences from what’s good for the team. Often other leaders will choose a different directive than we would choose – and if we let them, we can experience the power of growth.
Sometimes it’s difficult to fall back and consider others when the inspiration of moving quickly is exhilarating. “Freedom! Endless Possibility! Look at this view! I am amazing!” It’s tempting to overvalue inspiration.
Leaders left alone like this will begin to believe their way is superior, and will slowly lose touch with the group they are leading. They will forget the value of community.
They can develop a preference for the team members who follow well, and cut off the valuable perspective of other strong leaders. Followers are good for working with no questions asked. But working with no questions asked is a toxic atmosphere for the remarkable.
So it boils down to what do we want really: to think we’re amazing leaders or to be part of something remarkable? How we answer that question will determine who we gather around ourselves.
So we have to learn a lot of things. We need to learn our strengths and our weaknesses. We need to learn to lead and to follow. We need to learn how to make room for others and value perspective different from our own.
Sometimes teams with similar value systems are more likely to have a similar view of a dilemma and how to approach it. This is why diversity is so valuable. It’s the un-similar that offers a unique perspective. And often it’s the unique perspective that’s missing.