You’re looking to lead. And when we envision leadership, we associate it with that charismatic person who is always out front, always leading the charge for the organization. It’s the one at the head of the table making the decisions and inspiring their teams to carry out their vision. But there is only one of those leaders for every organization. Where do you fit in? What does your leadership look like?
You don’t have to be in the limelight to lead. After all, not all leaders even want or need to be centerstage. And just because you may not be at the top presiding over an organization, it doesn’t mean you can’t wield incredible influence and inspire teams from another place. It may seem less than, or not as relevant as that place at the top but it isn’t. It is a place that is every bit as important, even if it is “in the shadows.”
Leading from the shadows is a compelling and often underrated form of leadership. It’s a supportive position of humility and selflessness, emphasizing the success and development of the team rather than personal recognition. The essence of effective leadership, exerting a strong influence to create a positive and productive work culture, doesn’t have to be front and center, it can be subtle.
A Leader who remains in the shadows is dedicated, loyal, and supports the decisions of the primary leader. The two operate as a unified force and strong leadership team. Leading from the shadows is about collaboration – working closely with the primary leader, sharing responsibilities, brainstorming ideas, and executing on strategies.
The leader who remains in the shadows can anticipate the primary leader’s needs and quickly adapt to change, providing assistance where needed. They have strong problem-solving skills, allowing them to focus on daily challenges while the primary leader remains focused on the bigger vision.
The leader who remains in the shadows is one step closer to the whole team at large. From there, they can play a vital role in coaching and developing emerging leaders within an organization to ensure that the leadership team is always growing and developing.
Being in the shadows is not about subservience or lacking in a leadership skill. It is a strategic and supportive role that enhances the effectiveness of the primary leadership position. It brings a different perspective and set of strengths to the collaborative relationship, leading to a culture of trust and mutual respect.
Leadership roles are ever evolving and the leader who remains in the shadows is gaining relevance. True leadership is just as much about being supportive and allowing others to shine as it is about being the star of the show and shining yourself!
I love hearing from you. Please leave your comments and thoughts on leadership roles or experience here so we can chat.