When I was a kid, I consumed lots of self-help books. Mostly in the self-help section of bookstores, sometimes in the library – I certainly helped myself very much through acquiring most of these knowledge for free. One of the biggest things I learnt was that leadership is not about being in the front, asking people to do things, and bossing others around. It is to build relationships and influence with people; and others would naturally look towards you.
Of course, that is the hard part of things for most people. But then there’s also the additional challenge of actually knowing where to go when people look to you for directions. Now that’s where the second part of ‘being influenced’ comes from. It’s good to be an independent thinker but a leader cannot be thinking about everything from ground up and developing every solution by himself. He ought to draw upon the strengths of the team. He needs to know also whom he can approach in order to seek good advice on the way forward on a variety of matters.
This model of leadership places a leader not as a driving force but the conduit. The leader steers but he don’t have to be the fuel, the force nor the front guy.