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Learning as leaders – How to make sure you’re not leading from behind

When it comes to leadership there are a number of very distinct styles that team leaders can often find themselves falling into. 

When you lead from the front, rather than from behind, this means that you are play a vital and active role in the day to day running of the company or organisation that you are working for. When a business leader adopts this style of leadership, they are actively choosing to be more engaged with the members of their team, their customers and the stakeholders who are actively involved with the operations “front line.” 

You can learn from those you lead

Being a leader is not all about you, its actually about the people that you lead, and they have a lot of valuable information to share with those who are willing to listen. A huge part of being a leader requires you to use great communication skills, this might be for talking to customers, stakeholders or even the members of your team. But communication is more than talking it is also about listening, and your team can be a great source of information and ideas if you are willing to listen to them. 

When you encounter a problem with something you are working on you might want to get the team together to work on finding a solution; this can often come from the most unexpected member of your team. In other words the members of your team can teach you things, but you have to be willing to listen to them. Interacting with your team, letting them see that you are also working on problems, and getting involved will help them to feel like their voice matters. When you choose to put barriers between you and your team; to create a “me” and “them” situations, and this is not effective leading.

Learning is constant

From the CEO of a company to the newest apprentice, learning is a continual process. You are always in a position to learn something new whilst you are working. It is also important to consider your Continuous Professional Development (CPD) as well. These are the learning activities that any professional undertakes to enhance and renew their skills in the workplace. These are not just those skills linked solely to your role, they can also be your interpersonal skills as well and even the skills needed to use new software and technology. Continually improving your skills can help to keep you in the loop with developments that occur within your field, new innovations and methodologies that might help you to carry out your role much better.

When you create the right environment within your team and are not leading from behind it benefits everyone and there are opportunities for team member to learn from each other. It isn’t a sign of weakness when the team leader learns something from another person in the team but rather a sign of strength that can help to strengthen the team.

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