A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves. —Lao Tzu
This is my favorite leadership quote. I think the world would be a better place if this was our standard of leadership.
If you have ever attempted to lead people, you know how challenging it can be to get it right. Common knowledge would suggest that leaders must either be leading the charge like martyrs or shouting directions from the safety of the back lines like gods; but we all know what it feels like to be almost imperceptibly led… and how good it feels to say “we did it ourselves.”
To me, this wisdom has layers. In order to be the type of leader who leads well and does not seek credit takes serious perspective about personal ego and integrity. There’s an element of personal leadership before team leadership that rings true to me.
Photo by Flickr/Bernt Rostad