One of my favorite quotes on leadership is from John C. Maxwell who states:
“It’s not the position that makes the leader; it’s the leader that makes the position.”
In a paraphrased manner, this means for me not to aim for the position where people have to follow but to be the person whom people want to follow. In order to become such a person, leaders may look at the position they take toward their people.
Here are some thoughts:
Stand behind your people when things are going well; give them full guidance and empowerment, letting the limelight and praises shine on them.
Stand in front of your people when things are going wrong; take full responsibility and, after some self-reflection, initiate appropriate actions to recover and improve.
Stand below your people when help is needed; provide uplifting encouragement and the great feeling of being supported.
Stand beside your people whenever you talk to them; talk to them as a coach, as a mentor, as a friend.
Stand above your people if and only if assessment is needed in order to ensure everyone is at the right place and moving into the right direction; assess and guide the team members without judgment while highlighting and fostering individual strengths instead of dealing too much with their weaknesses.
Thus, 360-Degree-Leaders choose the position they take toward the team over the position they hold within the organization.
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