Have you heard the saying “leading from the front”? In war, the leaders are the front line, which can also be an analogy for leadership in business; a leader sets the pace and the example for others. Simply put, your team members do what you do. Whether or not “leading from the front” is an effective leadership tactic, STC Direct Philly is putting a spin on this and examining how a leader can also “lead from the back”…like a wolf pack.
A recent post on social media titled “The Wisdom of Wolves” (shown left) explains how wolf packs are organized. The post reads:
A wolf pack: the first 3 are the old or sick, they give the pace to the entire pack. If it was the other way round, they would be left behind, losing contact with the pack. In case of an ambush they would be sacrificed. Then come 5 strong ones, the front line. In the center are the rest of the pack members, then the 5 strongest following. Last is alone, the alpha. He controls everything from the rear. In that position he can see everything, decide the direction. He sees all of the pack. The pack moves according to the elders pace and help each other, watch each other.
The 3 wolves in the front are the weakest, while the strongest wolf is in the back. So, how is the strong wolf the leader if he is not technically “leading” the pack? This wolf is a special kind of leader; he is a servant leader.
Servant leadership can also be known as selfless leadership. A servant leader focuses on his or her team’s goals rather than his or her own goals. This leader understands that by helping his or her team members reach their goals, the leader naturally achieves his or her own goals. Servant leaders measure their own success by the success of their team members. A servant leader focuses primarily on the growth and well-being of people and the communities to which they belong, just like the leader of the wolf pack. A wolf pack’s leader is serving for the benefit of the entire pack by fighting off any attacks. Also, he can see the rest of the pack ahead of him – something he can’t do if he’s in front of them (unless wolves have eyes in the back of their head that we don’t know about 🤔).
Do you consider yourself a servant leader? Are you ready to “lead from the back” like a wolf pack leader? Share your thoughts in the comments below!