In most modern businesses, there are essentially two types of leaders. Of course, to be fair, there are thousands upon thousands of ways to classify and slice and dice and categorize leaders, but for the purposes of this article, we’re going to focus on two major trends in business leadership. First of all, there are leaders who lead by example; they’re hands-off, and they’d prefer to work themselves to the bone in the hopes that their followers will emulate them. Secondly, in the opposite camp, there are leaders who take the time to lead intentionally. They don’t seem to be doing quite as much as their overactive counterparts, but what you don’t see is the commitment to excellence they embody through their subtle methods.
All of this is not to say either way is necessarily the “right” way to lead, but there are some notable benefits to the method of hands-on, subtle leadership. It’s all in the art of doing less and leading more.
So, how do you do less and lead more? It’s certainly not a simple feat. It takes finesse. It takes communication. More than anything, it takes dedication.
If you’re going to commit to doing less for yourself, if you’re going to put a stop to simply leading by example, then you need to go all in. You need to be there 100 percent in every respect for your followers, for your mentees, for the people you help and coach.
How do you go all in? There’s really no set way to go all in, but at the core of the principle is the idea that this is a calling. To be a leader is a unique vocation, and it’s one that very few truly receive and even fewer answer.
When you feel compelled to lead others, and you answer that call, you have to be willing to make it a priority.
At the end of the day, you will ultimately be doing so much more as a leader, even if you’re nominally doing less. You may not get the glory for your own work, but you’ll have something even better: the satisfaction of knowing you truly led.