Finally, when I think about some leadership lessons I have learned from An Unexpected Journal, I have to think about one of my favorite pieces of advice from Confederate general James Longstreet:
You can’t lead from behind.
I tried my best to be involved in every part of this process, and I very well might have bordered on micromanaging at times. Probably my fellow team members will be able to tell you how effective I was at avoiding that, but I did not want to fall to the other extreme. There are plenty of times where people are far too hands-off. They want to get things done, but they are never truly involved in the project. As a result, nothing ever gets done. In my experience typically as one who has been following a leader, it is much easier for me Inspired about the mission when the leader gets to work as well.
There are also some very practical considerations about leading from the front. When you are in the front, you are aware of the entire situation. There is certainly plenty of time for delegation, but it is important to be aware of what is happening. It is hard to coordinate something if you actually don’t know what is going on. Practically, if you are not actively involved in the project, you can’t effectively be a leader.
I think it is also very important to make sure that we actually get things done. After all, if you are not actively involved in the project and the advancement of that project, at the end of the day, you really are not going to know where it ended up. You are not going to know what really got done. In that situation, the project may very well have fallen apart, and if you are not in front and working actively on the project, you are not going to know. You will not have any idea where the project is.
I think that the most important thing about leadership I have learned from this process. In order to try and keep everything organized, I had to be involved in all of the different parts of this project. While I certainly did not do everything, I had to know what was going on. The only way for me to coordinate all of these different parts was to actually step in and pay attention. I had to be focused and engaged as much as possible.
Like I said in the beginning of this series, I don’t claim to know everything about leadership, and I don’t have an awful lot of experience to fall back on. However, these are things that have stood out to me as we worked on this project. I’m sure if I am going to learn more, and this is going to be a process of continual development, but we’re going to keep doing what we do and keep working to make this project a success. I am very excited to where we are headed next.