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The Paradox of Leadership

The Influencers 59 Add to collection
INFLUENCER: Merkley+Partners president Scott Gelber on embracing a team-first, leader-second mentality
The Paradox of Leadership

Leadership is a thin line we need to walk. 

Leaders need to lead, but they can’t be the only ones that do.

Leaders create the vision for a company but cannot be the sole owners of it.

Leaders have to be at both the forefront and in the background.

Leaders need to be OK taking the blame, but not the credit.

Leaders need to step up when needed and step down when the time is right.

It’s not an easy dance. It only comes with time, experience, hardship and plenty of missteps. There’s no playbook, no formula or script to follow (I would have seriously appreciated those).

The only guidance I can give is to remain fluid and nimble. Stay close to your teams and get a feel for what’s needed and what’s not. Recognise that your role as a leader has nothing to do with what you want and everything to do with what your team needs.

Leadership will always be about walking a fine line and striking a balance. Leaders need to motivate, but not micromanage. They need to inspire, but not interfere. They need to comfort, but never confine.

The dance never ends. It’s never easy. It will prove difficult more often than not. You will quickly learn that embracing a team-first, leader-second mentality is both the paradox and power of true leadership.



Scott Gelber is president of Merkley+Partners

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Merkley+Partners, Fri, 24 Apr 2020 14:18:13 GMT