Encourage Learning by Leading from Behind

This move focuses on providing opportunities to empower your team and help them grow and develop.
Wendy Heilbut

About the Move

Oftentimes the best leader takes a step back to let their team shine. People are used to working by letting leaders take the center stage and expect them to decide what’s best for everyone. But by leading from behind, we can maximize everyone’s talent and ideas which can develop teamwork and promote innovation.

Setting the Move in motion:

Modern leadership principles teach us that leading people don’t always mean having a heavy hand and asserting authority. It takes a gentle confidence to know that you can gently nudge someone and usher them to take a more challenging role.

Nurture and Empower

When you delegate to one of your team members, They also gain the ability to lead. They can learn hands-on leadership experience which can hone their skills to be a better leader in the future.

Leading from behind doesn't mean leaving them to do whatever they want.  You can guide them as they go and share your inputs which to help them decide what they can do next. Empower and nurture them by giving them the chance to share their thoughts and ideas that might even be the best solution for the problem.

Set regular team meetings where peers and subordinates will be given a specific task.  They can take on a larger role and be more independent in making well-thought-out decisions and strategies.

Lead by Example

To be a good leader, you must also be a good follower. While leading from behind makes you work on the sidelines, it's a great strategy to welcome creativity. When you push your people to become innovators, it motivates them to work harder not only for themselves but also for the whole team.

You can always trust your team's ideas and suggestions, but you can also use your own expertise to make adjustments when needed. Mistakes can always happen, and when they do, move forward, pick up the pieces to learn, and grow together.

One way to do this is to show how a task is done, and let others do it by letting them step comfortably into that role. But be present and accessible for any questions they have or support they might need. The last thing you’d want is to put unnecessary pressure on your team.

Rigidity as a Creativity Killer

We may have different definitions of success but the ability to be creative and discover our passion gives us that feeling of fulfillment. According to Wendy Heilbut, Founder and Managing Partner at Jayaram Law, we must allow our creativity to flow by letting in as much flexibility and having room for change and discovery. By doing this, we create a legacy and pave the way to fulfill our passion, something that can never be forgotten and can be passed on to others.
View the move