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Leading from the Side

Leadership is a multi-dimensional beast. It’s also very personal in nature and everyone has an opinion about it—especially leaders! But, one approach that is often undervalued, is the art of leading from the side.

In my experience, leading from the side is just as important as leading from the front. Sometimes, it’s more important. By the way, this post is about leading from the side, not the sidelines.

When you lead from the side, you are removing a ceiling that may be hindering your team—you! The sooner you identify the ways in which you are a hindrance, the sooner you can get out the way and let your team rock.

By getting out of the way and leading from the side, you are giving your team the freedom to do what they can do better than you anyway. If you’re always out front leading the charge, they will be much less inclined to take the initiative when needed.

Sure, leading from the side is risky, but not as risky as always leading from the front.

I’m not advocating that you always or only lead from the side, but that you do so when it makes sense. Leading from the front is critical for casting vision and taking the big hits. Supplement that by leading from the side to infuse the encouragement and fuel needed to advance your ministry on a daily and incremental basis.

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Kerry can often be found sketching concepts on napkins or note cards as he tries to dial in his thoughts and share them. His 25+ years in ministry and business have been devoted to brand development. HeÂ’s passionate about helping organizations translate their vision and mission into communication that resonates with their constituents through branding, strategic thinking, marketing, public relations and visual presentation. Kerry, and his wife, Deborah, reside in Tennessee with their three beautiful children.