Know what it feels like to pull someone else? I mean really carry the load? Like pulling someone in a wagon, carrying a load up a hill. That’s what leadership is. It’s carrying the load of vision and the pace.
We formed “PaceLines” when I was into cycling. Those are lines where you form a single line and “Draft” off one another. In other words, the leader in the front pulls the line by taking on most of the wind resistance. Those behind the leader have to work 30% less to keep up.
When the leader gets tired, they simply “peel off” and fall to the back of the line. Then, the next rider pulls until tired. This process is repeated until the original leader makes it back to the front again.
You can’t pull the pack all the time. If you try, you will burn out, and all the energy stored up by those behind you makes them restless. As the leader tires and becomes unwilling to allow someone else to lead, the pack loses time and wastes talent and resources.
The wise leader trains his team well, so he has the ability to rest when necessary. Here are some ideas to help accomplish that:
Give young leaders small projects so they know how to carry the full load
Make organization-wide campaigns, and let another take the lead
Turn meetings over to other leaders to help others follow someone else
Make another leader the point man for a season
Form a leadership team on a project and rotate the leaders
As a leader, you must know when to “peel off” and rest. But your organization can’t fall apart while you are resting. So you must plan and equip your team for your seasons of rest. If done properly, you will be amazed at how much your team does with out you.
Are you ready to peel off? Can you?