Watching the mountain railway, one observes a peculiarity – the engine is behind the carriages while trudging up the hills but you see it right up in front, when the train is going downhill.
Climbing requires all the energy to push the carriages with its passengers up the hills but coming down requires the engine to put a hold on the free rolling speed of the carriages, lest they hurtle down the hill; the powerful braking mechanism of the engine provides for the safety of the passengers.
Effective leadership is similar. You push the team up and ahead so they may scale heights, secure in the knowledge that you are right behind them. While going through challenging and testing situations a leader gets to the front, solely responsible for the well being and morale of the team.
The mark of effective leadership is,
-to know when to pull and when to push
-to know that you ought to be either pushing or pulling all the time
(stationary carriages get nowhere by themselves)
-to accept the responsibility, not expect reward – when the train reaches the top of the mountains, it’s always the carriages that arrive first into the platform!