Leadership Is Getting Out Of The Way

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Some people see leadership as being out in front.leadershipisgettingout

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?

 

This post has been republished with permission from Greg Richardson

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Greg Richardson
Born in rural Wisconsin, Greg was raised to be very strategic. His life and work have been a voyage of discovery beyond anything he could have imagined. Greg is a recovering attorney and university professor. He has served as a criminal prosecutor, a legislative advocate, and an organizational leader. Greg has recruited, trained, and developed volunteers and staff members for a wide variety of companies. He brings his experience, focus, and sense of humor to each of his endeavors. Greg is articulate and engaging. Greg is also monastic, a lay person connected to a Benedictine monastery in Big Sur, California. His experiences with monks and monastic life have taught him the deep importance of working from a person’s, and an organization’s, core values and principles. Greg is a deeper, clearer listener. He knows the benefits of silence and reflection. In addition to being monastic and strategic, Greg has a strong appreciation for the virtues of craft brewing. He is on a pilgrimage of craft breweries in Southern California, and writes a monthly column about craft brewing for an online magazine.Greg now lives in Pasadena, California.
Greg Richardson
Greg Richardson
Greg Richardson
Greg Richardson

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14 comments
dawnkristy
dawnkristy

Greg, this post draws us in, wanting to know who these wonderful leaders are that get out of the way of themselves, their team and shared values.  Well done!

AlaskaChickBlog
AlaskaChickBlog

Greg, I love this post. Getting out of your own way... yeah, I can look back and see that there have been times that the biggest obstacle I had was myself. Two other points hit me especially hard as well. First- how it CAN be a struggle NOT to tell people what to do- when that is what they expect and last ~ but IMO, the most important takeaway in anything, any one of us writes ~ We are MORE, better, stronger, smarter... together, as a team, than any single one of us alone. Thank you for reposting this one, Greg.

Greg Richardson
Greg Richardson

@Jen Olney  Thank you, Jen.


I am not sure it is even possible to force anyone to have the same values we do. It is possible, though, for people to agree on standards of behavior, including ethics.


It is important for the standards to be clear and understood, as well as consistent.


It is also very beneficial for a group, and the people in it, when the behavioral standards to which they commit themselves grow out of commonly held values.

Greg Richardson
Greg Richardson

@dawnkristy Thank you, Dawn.


Yes, they inspire me. It can be a challenge for me, and a little sad, that I so often assume that a "leader" is front and center. The leaders who are able to get out of the way are an example that I am learning to follow.

Greg Richardson
Greg Richardson

@AlaskaChickBlog Thank you, Amber-Lee!


One of the lessons that, I hope, I have been learning for a long time is that having the right answers is not nearly as helpful as asking good questions. I find that when I have my answer I am much more invested in defending its rightness than in exploring and seeking an answer that might be even better.


Listening is so much more powerful than telling people what I think they need to do.