The best leaders I’ve known have always intimately got that being a leader is more of a role that they play than an hierarchical position in which they sit.
Meaning that they don’t lord over you. They don’t assume that they have all the right answers. They don’t expect you to do everything they say simply because they said it. They don’t expect you to subsume your power of independent thought into theirs.
They understand that they have a responsibility to agree or create a direction of travel, and that this is a role, not a position of superiority – that without a clear direction, it will be hard for their team to make decisions and know where to go.
They understand they have a responsibility to create an environment in which you’re able to do your best. That never absolves you from the responsibility of getting on the field of play and giving it your best, but you shouldn’t be swimming through treacle to do it.
They understand that they have a responsibility to select and recruit a team to get that done – that without getting the right team on board, the vision remains a pipedream.
A responsibility to allow those members who want to flourish to do so. They know that if they block growth because they see it as a threat rather than an opportunity that they will lose the best team members.
The best leadership is about making a team outstanding, not sitting on a throne with all the spoils.