A Leader Among Leaders

We need to get away from the idea that as a CEO or senior leader developing your team that you need to be seen as some kind of faultless hero figure that makes all the best decisions and that everyone looks up to.

You may, in the early stages of team development need to be the “Campaigning Leader”; out in front, selling the vision, showing the way, and getting the team’s buy-in – but your objective should be to become a leader among leaders.

You may need, once the team has been together for a while, to be the “Facilitating Leader”, refereeing decisions, reconciling differences, and integrating diverging opinions when conflicts arise – but your objective should be to become a leader among leaders.

You may need to be, at some stage, the “Coaching Leader”; on the sidelines, sharing your experience, encouraging and energising as the team starts to align – but your objective should be to become a leader among leaders.

You may, as the team becomes fully focussed on achieving the vision, need to become the “Empowering Leader”; enabling others to run with the banner, allowing them to make decisions in the name of the team – but your objective should be to become a leader among leader.

Don’t build a team “below you”, with you on a kind of pedestal and team members following in your footsteps.

Don’t build a team around you, with you as the centre of attraction and team members sacrificing themselves for you.

Build a team beside you, with team members walking beside you; empowered, aligned & engaged, and willing to challenge your decisions and ask the questions you do not want to hear.

Regardless of the organisational chart and people’s position in the organisation, nothing is stopping you to create a team of “besiders”.

There are few specific techniques or methods required; however, it does require a “collective” attitude.

If your attitude is that you are the brilliant & intelligent hero that the organisation (political, business, charitable, …) has chosen to “turn a losing battle into victory” then you have quite possibly got it all horribly wrong.

If on the other hand, you have the attitude that your job is to unite and empower all those brilliant & intelligent team members into “the winning team”, then you may well be on to something.

Don’t follow in my footsteps, walk beside me.

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Bob Larcher
Bob Larcherhttp://www.boblarcher.com/
Bob Larcher is an independent leadership development consultant; he has been designing & delivering personal, team & leadership development programs for almost 35 years, both in English and in French and his clients include Blue Chip corporate giants, Charities, Start-ups, and the Public Sector. Bob is also a visiting lecturer at several French Business Schools. Since his first leadership seminar in 1986, Bob has designed and delivered in excess of 3000 days of training & coaching. His background is in Outdoor Management Development and he was previously a shareholder of a major player in the UK market; he is an Accredited Practitioner of the UK Institute of Outdoor Learning and a member of the panel reviewing articles for their journal, “Horizons”. He is based in Toulouse in France but works all over Europe. Bob is an accredited Insights Discovery Personal Profile user, an accredited Integrated Leadership Measure user and a Master Trainer in Mental Toughness. He also designs customized 360° leadership & management evaluations Bob is passionate about helping people to discover, develop and deploy their leadership capacity in order to enable them to drive the personal, organizational and societal transformations they are involved in.


  1. Thanks, Bob.
    Words don’t just reflect our thinking, they shape it. Here are some work words I’d like to see left behind: empowerment (a transitive word, so we do it TO others, not with them); team (too much negative and BS baggage); work/life balance (supports the fallacy that work and life are oppositional – seesaws depend on oppositional balance). And that’s just for starters.