Leadership is Getting Out of the Way

Posted on Nov 12, 2013 in Blog, Leadership | 2 Comments

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Some people see leadership as being out in front.

Leaders are, after all, people who lead. They set an example for other people to follow.

The leaders who inspire me do not necessarily maintain a high profile. While they recognize the value of communication, they do not need to be the center of attention. They are good at getting out of the way.

The leaders who inspire me get out of their own way. 

The leaders whose examples I try to follow understand that not everything depends on them. They spend the time and effort it takes to know themselves well. They do the work it takes not to get ahead of themselves.

They understand that their leadership begins with their own core values. They are centered on putting their values into practice, not on imposing their values on other people.

The leaders who inspire me get out of the way of the people around them.

I have worked with leaders who have brought out the best in me, then controlled themselves to allow me to discover my own values.

It is a challenge to lead. It can be a struggle not to tell other people what to do and how to do it, especially when that is what they expect from you.

The leaders who inspire me get out of the way of our shared values.

The leaders whose examples I follow do not allow their own leadership profile to get in the way of our work together. They appreciate that we are able to do far more as a healthy organization than we can as a collection of individuals.

Their leadership is shepherding in a way that draws us toward our potential.

When do you get in your own way?

How will you bring out the best in the people around you today?

[Image by B4bees]


  1. Jon Stallings
    November 12, 2013

    I get in my own way when I try to make life all about me. I have learned and am learning that at times I need to keep quite. A team member may have great idea but it is not exactly what I would do and perhaps my idea is better. However, at the moment is best that I keep silent and let them have a chance to run and lead.

    I also understand that as Co-Pastor my opinion does carry some weight. If I speak too soon, others will remain silent and never setup up with courage and voice their own ideas.

    So mostly I keep my tongue out of the way.

    • Strategic Monk
      November 12, 2013

      Thank you, Jon.

      Yes! It is more important for me to be open and listen to other people, bringing out the best we all have to offer, than to make sure that we arrive at the answer that I know is the right one.

      Each of us deserves to be heard, and our decisions are more healthy when we make them together.


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