Early in my career, I once worked for someone that monitored my every move.
If a micro-manager is the term to describe an overbearing helicopter boss, I would have to call this guy a nano-manager.
It was debilitating. So much so that I honestly lost all confidence in my ability to make a work-based decision of any kind on my own.
Needless to say, I was not there very long.
While my short time under this person's leadership was miserable, I can at least say that it gave me a framework (and ability) to spot a good leader when I see one.
A good leader doesn't watch over your every move. They give you the space to make decisions and learn from your mistakes.
A good leader doesn't correct the mistakes you've made. They help you understand how you could have improved and allow you to give it another shot.
A good leader doesn't throw you under the bus. They protect you as if you're the next of kin.
A good leader is someone that someone that allows you to shine. Someone that gives you the credit you deserve.
A great leader is sometimes someone that leads from behind.
Great leaders are never afraid to admit their shortcomings. They tend to be keenly aware of areas they need to improve upon and are open to being inspired by anyone (or anything).
So, when I came across this inspiring Facebook post the other day, I knew it was something that needed to be seen by leaders everywhere.
The author of the post offered the following description:
A little food for thought... wolves...Love this!!!
The three in front are old & sick, they walk in front to set the pace of the running group lest they get left behind.
The next five are the strongest & best, they are tasked to protect the front side if there is an attack.
The pack in the middle are always protected from any attack.
The five behind them are also among the strongest & best; they are tasked to protect the back side if there is an attack.
The last one is the LEADER. He ensures that no one is left behind. He keeps the pack unified and on the same path. He is always ready to run in any direction to protect & serves as the 'bodyguard' to the entire group.
Just in case anyone wanted to know what it really means to be a leader. It's not about being out front. It means taking care of the team.
Sometimes the best inspiration in life comes from the most unlikely of places. We just need to be open to seeing it.