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DOES A GOOD LEADER WALK WITH THE TEAM?


It’s a good question, and I would answer it with YES. It makes a lot of sense to me that a leader is with the team, with the followers. And a leader needs to be in front of them. How else can they follow?


walk the talk
Walk the Talk

And then,

... I read an article about the army and the role of a general. This is the link to it, if you’d like to read it, too: https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/09/12/the-end-of-the-fighting-general/

The title says it already: The end of the fighting general. The article describes how the role of a general, of a leader has been changing over time. How the leaders were fighting with the soldiers in the field and how they moved more and more to headquarters, war rooms, maps, strategic simulations, and so on.

The points are very convincing and I thought for a moment, that my drawing doesn’t make much sense anymore. A leader is indeed in the back, orchestrating the happening from a distance, and not walking ahead, etc. Well, maybe.


In the same evening, I read another article: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2017/03/28/why-you-cant-be-both-a-leader-and-an-expert/ that caught my attention as well. Again, the key message is in the title: “Why you can’t be both a leader and an expert?” I’d like to rephrase it like: You can’t micro- and macro-manage at the same time.


The way I would describe the above picture is a s follows:

Leader’s words can be very powerful. Yet, only if others are listening to. If not, they are just empty statements repeated over and over again by want-to-be incredible leaders who lack the credibility. Nobody moves. Nothing really happens.

Same statement, same location, a real leader. Everybody moves. Incredible things happen. As it all depends, if you are…TALKING THE WALK OR WALKING THE TALK.

 

My takeaways from all above are:


  1. There is no one-fits-all way to lead. Be careful why copying. And don’t follow every trend out there blindly. Rather start with your objective and culture, so your leadership can integrate those.

  2. Whatever you  say or not say, it generates referral points, expectations or criteria how people will assess you as a leader by comparing your words or silence to your actions. Your actions are always embedded in what you said before.

  3. No matter how good you can talk, your opinion will always be weaker than your example. Opinions are like a menu in a restaurant, examples are the dishes eaten.



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