“That’s it Chris, lead by example!” someone shouted at me as I lay, sprawled on the floor with a cricket ball in one hand. Having thrown myself to the right to stop the ball I don’t think I looked particularly skillful or classy, but it worked. I was also a little confused, as the person shouting at me was my Captain.
What I’ve realised since is that leadership isn’t about giving instructions, it’s about showing, providing and enabling success. In any lead job you have to give some instructions but, if those instructions you give are contrary to the way you act, if those instructions stifle or impede those under you then you lose the support of those people pretty quickly. You also spend way too long looking for new staff.
I’m about to take on a challenge of substantially increasing the team I use to be in and now lead. I’ve already realised that setting the team on a path and then stepping back gets far more out of them then being a “hover-parent”. Freedom to dream, to try, not only makes them happier, but as long as I provide a good Framework for them to work in, help them to think about positive impacts of their decisions and help them self-evaluate. I know I’m going to get a good environment and good performance.