Bernie Anderson
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the blog

Current musings, whatever they may be. 

Everything I Used to Know About Leadership Was Wrong

The best leaders give leadership away.

While this is counterintuitive and feels risky, it's what good leaders do.

A wise leader is the first to trust.

It's a rare but critical characteristic of leadership: but Leaders enable others to act.

There was a day when I thought otherwise.

In my younger years, I believed leadership was an exclusive club, where only the called and qualified could gain entrance. A "men's only" club where leadership positions were given out to those who could wield the power, feeding on ego, while accomplishing the mission with a wave of the hand or brute force, if necessary. Suspicion and skepticism was the rule - and those who had power should be slow to trust others with a force so great and powerful.

I was young, naive, and a bit foolish, as young men tend to be.

A good leader is the first to trust.

Leadership is about giving away power, not retaining it.

Leaders empower those who have no power.

Leadership is about generosity more than ego.

Leaders enable others to act.

This is why it's not only possible to lead from the back (to lead without a position of power) - it's essential. If a leader can't lead well from the back, she will never lead well from the front.

The best leaders give leadership away.


Bernie Anderson