Today I was reminded of the different styles in (people) leadership — on one hand you have the people who lead from the front. They lead by example — they model the behavior they want to see in their team. Typically they take action, provide instructional information and encourage their teams to follow in their footsteps.
Then you have those who lead from behind. They encourage their teams to do things they haven’t done before. They provide encouragement and support — but tend to throw their teams into the experience; believing that there is nothing which beats “learning by doing”.
The first leader fishes for his team, explains how it works and anticipates that, when the time is right, the team will have learned enough to fish for themselves.
The second leader gives his team the fishing rod, explains how it’s done, cheers them on and lets them go fishing.
In all my years of working with teams — consistently the best leaders are the ones who hand over the fishing rods. Nothing beats trust, encouragement and the chance to get experience.