A leader should lead from the front not the rear

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Anyone wanting to be a real leader has to lead from the front and not from the rear.

In the military of many countries it is all too common that the officers are not leading but giving orders from the rear, well out of harm's way, and that is the quickest way to earn the disrespect of the troops.

Too many managers in industry and commerce, and in the civil service and government, also work in the very same way in that they lead with words from a desk often without even having any knowledge of the subject that they are managing. In addition to that they are often build their performance pay on the backs of those that do the work for them and cover up their mistakes.

When things go well they take the credit but when things go wrong they pass the buck and the workers have to take the flak. The true leader's adage is and should be “the buck stops with me” and that especially if it was a bad decision on the part of the leader.

No leader can ever hope to earn – and earning one must it – the respect of the troops, regardless whether military, police, or any other business or service, if he or she sits in the office, knows nothing of the job in hand and still pretends to lead.

The word leader comes from leading and leading means being in the front of the troops, not somewhere behind them, in relative safety.

A leader, whether officer or manager, who does not know the job or is not prepared to be out there with the troops leading from the front cannot expect respect and loyalty from them and no amount of delegation and consultation can make up for actually being with the troops and leading from the front.

A leader who does not lead from the front and who does not know the job in hand does not deserve to be a leader (or manager). He or she is nothing but dead weight and should be discarded. Better for everyone.

© 2013