We learn best when we watch others in action, observing the details they attend to and the way they go about getting things done. Leaders who understand the power of modeling also appreciate the role this observation plays in developing better leaders.
As a result, the best leaders always seem to have someone in tow, exposing them to the ins and outs of everything that happens in their leadership day. When others observe leaders in meetings, client gatherings, important calls, presentations and social events, they learn the substance and style of how that leader operates. When these developing leaders get the chance to listen in on phone calls, reviews, and post-project debriefs, they see the leader in action, making quick decisions and engaging in ways essential for effectiveness.
When on vacation, self-secure leaders allow a key lieutenant to metaphorically sit in their seat, fielding their calls, and screening their emails. Eyes open to what the role really entails. By living the role before they are ready for it, these lieutenants learn vicariously in ways no other resource can offer.
Allowing others to shadow your every move is indispensable for creating connections and for showing others how to lead. It takes a confident and self-secure leader to open up their world for others in this way. Shadows are always best defined in the brightest light. Time to shine on others so they can learn from you.