The Invisible Leader
One day Nelson Mandela, President of South Africa, calls Francois Pienaar, Captain of the South African Rugby Union Team, the Springboks, to his office and asks, “Tell me Francois, What is your philosophy on Leadership?”
This powerful discussion (true event) has been captured skillfully in this scene from the movie Invictus. Have a look…
Did you notice my point yet?
We have all seen this picture comparing a Boss (Manager) and a Leader.
Note that the focus is on “doing”. The manager is telling what to do and the leader is showing what to do. But they are both busy “doing”.
Good leaders focus on leading by example; by showing people what/how to do because they believe that they are not entitled to ask someone to do something if they haven’t done it themselves. So in fact, their motivation to show people what/how to do something is driven by their own fear of not being good enough. They are afraid that they won’t be accepted as good leaders if their followers don’t respect them as a “doer”.
Good to Great
A great leader is that who rises above their own expectations. Their focus is not on “doing” but on “being”. They don’t focus on telling or showing how to do something. They focus on inspiring. They focus on building people from inside so there is no need to tell or show them. They focus on inspiring people how to be their best version.
A great leader is neither on top and nor in front. A great leader leads from behind. They are the true source of energy behind a movement, behind a mission, behind a cause. They are invisible.
Ever seen good parents walking behind their kids. This is so that they can give freedom to their kids to explore while guiding them from behind. They don’t tell or show the kids what to do. They let them explore while keeping an eye. The kids feel happy and motivated to explore knowing that their parents are behind them and they have their blessings to explore.
A good leader inspires people to have confidence in the leader; a great leader inspires people to have confidence in themselves. Eleanor Roosevelt