I love this topic and term: Quiet Leadership. I believe there are all kinds of leaders and styles of leadership. However, one of the most powerful I have ever seen and experienced is “Quiet Leadership”.
When we think of leadership, we think of the commanding, visionary person who takes charge in a time of crisis and leads his company to victory when all seems lost. Although this type of leader is what we think of most, another form of leadership, “quiet leadership,” ultimately may be more effective at achieving high performance.
One of the primary traits of quiet leadership is leading by example, and eliciting the behavior you want by demonstrating it, rather than just telling others to do it.
Daniel Goleman’s recent book, Primal Leadership, suggests that a coaching style of leadership may best describe the qualities of the quiet leader. “The coaching style is the least-used tool in the leader’s toolkit,” says Goleman, “probably because it doesn’t look like leadership.” As a coach or mentor may do, quiet leaders can facilitate breakthroughs by asking guided questions over giving orders or advice. And what better way to empower others. An important key to helping others achieve and stick with change is their ownership of their new behaviors.
And quiet leadership isn’t just for those at the top, but applies across the spectrum, from the leader in all levels of management, to solo entrepreneurs, to leaders of the community fundraiser, and to the leader of the 12 year old soccer team. So what about you? What kind of leader are you?