Leading from the back

jim gavin dublin
Leading from behind

I heard a fascinating interview with Jim Gavin, the former Dublin football manager, on the Business Programme on RTE radio one Saturday morning recently.

He was speaking about a concept that I had never heard of before: the idea of leading from behind, not the front. And it made an immense amount of good sense and explained how he was able to stand as immobile as a statute of Buddha on the sidelines during the highly intense, vitally important matches his Dublin football team were involved in.

I firmly believe that this concept is well worth consideration by any small business owner, whether solicitor or accountant or any commercial enterprise, regardless of size.

Too often do small business owners, founders and entrepreneurs try to lead from the front, take on far too much, and fail themselves, their business or those they seek to lead.

The idea of leading from the back, as espoused by Gavin, involves setting up those you are leading with the necessary training and resources to be able to lead themselves through whatever battle, sporting or business, with which they are struggling.

Looking back now on the Dublin dominance of the GAA scene over the last decade this idea of the guys on the pitch sorting out problems in games themselves was a constant refrain of Gavin’s in post match interviews.

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