Leadership means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. When I picture ‘leading’, I picture a person holding a lead-rope, guiding a horse, walking in front of it, showing it where to go and the horse happily following. A leader is always out in front showing the way to go.
Some people think just getting the horse to move, in this analogy, is leading. A jockey riding a horse, sat on top, holding the reins, boots ‘kicking’ the horse and maybe even a whip in hand isn’t ‘leading’ that horse… they are forcing it to do what they want it to do.
So my first point to ensure you understand – if you are the jockey, whipping and kicking your employees to go where you want them to go, or perhaps you hold carrots and entice them to move – you are not leading, you are just ‘bossing’.
So, when you think about leadership, remember it’s not convincing or forcing people to do what you want them to do – leaders head out in a direction, at the front of the group and the group follows along with you. Leaders don’t tell you were to go, they show you where to go.
In the next blog, I’ll run through some thoughts on how to ensure the horse, I mean people, follow you (willingly). Check it out, available now, Understanding Leadership – Part 2