Designing My 2019

Designing My 2019

My autocorrect changed “Designing” to “Destining” when I first typed it. Seems appropriate.

I have been thinking about my goals. Endlessly. But something odd happened at work that made me think a little harder. My 40 before 40 goals are tangible, as they should be. Something that can be accomplished and ticked off the list. But there are personal goals that aren’t so easy to define, or measure, or achieve.

In a work environment, it is inevitable that there will be run-ins. Disagreements, and the like. Earlier in my career, I felt free to argue my case as I saw fit without having to worry too much about the consequences. If my colleagues or managers disagreed, it didn’t matter too much. I stated my opinion but did as I was told (with a few exceptions, for another time).

But I’m a manager and although I could choose to be as I have been before – say how I feel but follow the line – things are different now. Not that I will necessarily think or feel differently about things. But now I’m aware that my team watch to see how I respond to things. As as an introvert, I would much prefer to sort things out quietly with time to think and plan. But being quiet and confuse people. Not stating your intentions can lead to wrong assumptions.

The little argy-bargy at work is not something I’m concerned about. It’s most likely going to go unresolved and become gossip that colleagues giggle over for years to come. But it did make me think about my leadership style.

I lead from behind. I like to inspire others to set their own goals then support them to reach them. There are always themes about ownership, taking pride in what you do and finding meaning in it. Back in my uni days, I remember the moment I first heard about leading from behind, or shepherd leadership, and immediately I knew that was how I work. It was actually a relief to hear that it had a name and was, you know, a “thing”.

Knowing this is what suits me, and that I want to be consistent and confident in my approach, I realised that I wanted to find out more about the style, and leaders who used it. A list of inspiring leaders who lead from behind that read about or follow, to help me learn more about the style and feel inspired. Then I realised – it’s a Leader Board!

The main name I have is Nelson Mandela, from whom the phrase “Lead from Behind” seems to originate. But it looks like there are a few CEOs around the world that have the same approach. So that’s how my year is starting. Leaderboard homework!

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