Leading from the front

There is a good argument to be made that while there are differing leadership styles, leading from the front is one that is making a significant comeback.

The phrase itself is something I hear now more than ever. In 2015, Jude Jennison’s article, 3 positions of leadership – Leading from the front, offered a good synopsis of why this leadership style vs leading from the side or from behind made more sense.

If you consider the speed of change then what is the single most important characteristic you want to see from the people in leadership? I’d argue it’s clarity. Decks and documents are important to circulate the strategy and the governing thoughts behind what we’re all going to go do and this is how we’ll do it, but they can’t always capture the necessary clarity that is more like an ongoing heartbeat and pulse in the organization than it is a statement on a slide.

Leading from the front has it risks and challenges:

  • You’ll need to take decisions when indecision is looming in the room
  • You can’t look back too often if you want to build trust and credibility
  • You’ll need to champion the clarity and cause quite often (heartbeat)


What will you change to start leading from the front or how can you communicate to your leaders to adopt this better?

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