Friday, May 07, 2010

HBR: Leading from Behind

Leading from Behind - Imagining the Future of Leadership - Harvard Business Review
For now and into coming decade or so, the most effective leaders will lead from behind, not from the front — a phrase I've borrowed from none other than Nelson Mandela. In his autobiography, Mandela equated a great leader with a shepherd: "He stays behind the flock, letting the most nimble go out ahead, whereupon the others follow, not realizing that all along they are being directed from behind."

Hasn't this been the ideal for some for at least 2010 years? I always interpreted leadership this way, maybe because as a Christian the ultimate leader was considered the Good Shepherd. Leading the flock, keeping the sheep together and even times abandoning the rest, just to find and bring in that one member of the flock who has gone astray.