In Front or Through Others!

When leading a team do you lead, coach or both? Interesting concept of being completely in the front of everything, visible, being the focal point of the team or in the background coaching, helping and developing the team to accomplish their goals. Or is it – leaders have to find that sweet spot between the two.

Every year, I sit down and have to write my self assessment on how the past year went. Reflect on the accomplishments, the strengths and weaknesses of the team and myself. I usually focus on the items that I wanted to work on from last year – and do a quick assessment on how that all went as well.  I have gotten feedback from my team, from my direct manager and from outside peers and key partners that I use to formalize what I plan on doing in the upcoming year. This year is a bit of a problem. The feedback, was really good. I got some extremely positive comments on my management and leadership style and the effectiveness of my team. I also got some great areas that some of the folks want me to focus on. That is the good news.

The news that has me somewhat puzzled is; I am being asked to step way out in front. Make myself more visible, showcase and put my spin on stuff.  For me, this has never been a problem – when the situation or team needed it. I believe that the way to lead comes from many directions and it is sometimes very situational. The comment around this came a bit out of the blue – as the feedback was completely solid on how I manage and lead my teams. I am lucky my team is very solid. They are a very diverse mix of folks that are very passionate on doing what is right, on time and with the best possible quality. Many of them, will be the leaders for many years to come. Do they really need me in front? Maybe. Does the upper management want to see me in front? I guess so…

Pulling this back to the subject of leading in the visible front, leading through others or both. I think I have to take the feedback as – I’ll need to step up and not dance on the fence of leading through others as much as I have. Leading comes in many forms – I just need to be more aware of me in some of it.

Does anyone else have difficulty balancing as well?

  • Steve,
    I have also recently experienced similar feedback from both work and personal situations. “Why are you hesitating?”, “Either commit or retreat”, etc. I am thinking that sometimes a man needs to be given a fish in order to get him engaged in learning to fish. Haven’t figured this out yet for myself. Great post – thanks for the insight!
    jeff