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Leading From Behind; Lessons from Nelson Mandela 👩‍💻

“It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory w
Where Leaders Learn
Leading From Behind; Lessons from Nelson Mandela 👩‍💻
By Gillian Davis • Issue #19 • View online
“It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership.” - Nelson Mandela

No newsletter last week 😱 I was preparing for a company offsite where myself and my  co-facilitator bravely went into the Hungarian countryside with post-its, sharpies and hope. It ended up being a great day of workshops which I will go into another time.  
This month Virgin.com focused on the topic of Leadership and I could not put myself forward to do a guest post. As there are so many angles to leadership I decided to focus on one of my favorite quotes by Nelson Mandela (see above). Although he was talking about a different kind of leadership, I believe that the approach of leading from behind extremely pertinent for todays workplace. 
In it I explain that for leaders to lead from behind they need to do this first; 
It is imperative that you get a good understanding of your team’s strengths, weaknesses and motivations (to be clear, firstly you should be aware of your own).

However in order to get that level of insight into your teams you need to have established a basic level of trust. Without trust your team members are unlikely going to be open with you and share their goals and motivations. Trust is not something you can ‘hack’ as it takes time, genuine interest and consistency. 
A great way to start to build that trust is to spend one on one time with the team. This one on one time should be focused on them, a check-in to see how they are doing, raise any blockers they need help with, and how they are moving towards their development goals. 
The more you understand your team on an individual level the better able your are to lead them on a team level. 
Try 👩‍🎓
Struggling with how to have your one-on-ones, I love this approach from NOBL. 
Read 👓
Love this illustrated post on the different kinds of ‘jerks’ at work. It is an unfortunate reality that at some point in our career we have to work with people that treat us poorly. Instead of quitting this post identifies how to work with them. 
*Check yourself* are you guilty of doing any of the following? It’s okay. Bad management happens to good people. Just be aware and work towards not falling into the bad management traps. 
Listen 🎧
In this podcast the book review 3 books one of which is ‘Do Nothing’, which I have not yet read but definitely on my reading list now. In order to put others in front you have to be able to empower your team to take ownership and know when to step back. Link to book below. 
Watch 📺
James Davis (no relation) gives an energised talk on what does it mean to build trust. At the core it is about being vulnerable to the other person and take the risk that they won’t take advantage of that vulnerability/ 
Save The Date 📆
Next Podcast Episode Runs: October 7th

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Gillian Davis

Helping leaders inspire and enable their teams.

Author: First Time Leader // www.overtimeleader.com //
Reach out @gilliandavis07

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