August 27, 2023


by: tguerry


Categories: Current Culture

Lead Like a Pawn

Lead Like a Pawn

Last Sunday, I watched a leader I’ve admired and followed for over twenty years, step up to the microphone and tell 500+ people in his organization that he’d been wrong for the past two decades and was changing direction. He did this, knowing full well that a large number of those folks would abandon ship in the coming weeks — maybe even enough to sink his organization. But he did what he knew to be right, not what he knew to be expedient.

While I had to use every ounce of restraint to keep from jumping up and shouting “YES”, the situation led me to seriously consider what a lot of us have mistakenly labeled as leadership.

Two Kinds of Leaders
I’ve observed my fair share of leaders in the past sixty years. Some, I’ve studied closely. Some, I’ve followed. Some, I’ve even become good friends with. The first group of leaders would identify with the “Lead from Behind” philosophy. They tend to mull over the big ideas that nobody else has time to think about and then urge those under their leadership to move in a specific direction — under the guise of making those people the best that they can be.

Like I said, I’ve been friends — and still am a good friend — with a lot of those folks. At the end of the day, no matter how charismatic they are and no matter how earnest they are, I always have this nagging feeling that our continued friendship depends on whether or not I agree to help implement their plan. I don’t think they’re bad people and quite often, I agree that their plans are sound. I just don’t think they have the makings of genuine leaders.

The other kind of leader, the one I witnessed last week, is the one who understands the bigger picture, has the fidelity of character to recognize the error of their ways, and says, “I’m going to do what’s right, regardless of the cost.” They don’t ask their friends, their followers, or anyone else to take a risk they are not willing to step into first. In essence, they “lead”, not as a remote commander, safely steering the troops from a distance but as one of the frontline pawns, because they’re determined to do the right thing whether people follow them or not. Low and behold, most people are not stupid; they recognize a commitment to Truth when they see it and gladly say “I’m with him (or her)”

What really caused me to stop and ponder this type of leadership is the fact that someone was willing to risk everything they had built in order to do the right thing. That’s either the act of someone with a really enormous ego, or it’s the act of someone who has tamed their need for self-gratification and seen something even bigger? I must admit that every sign points to the second scenario. That leader is not following their own ego. They’re following an even greater and more trustworthy leader, one that the rest of us might not yet recognize.

Which kind of leader are you? And what kind of lead are you following?

Cup-Of-CoffeeGot ideas about leadership? I’m all ears. Email me at I’ll buy you coffee and we can trade ideas. Who knows? Maybe we will even discover something we didn’t already know.


To grow, we need things that we do not have and cannot provide, and we need to have a source of those things who looks favorably on us and who does things for us for our own good.

― Henry Cloud


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Understanding the Inventions that Changed the World.

— W. Bernard Carlson

This is another one of those books you should not begin reading with the mindset of conquering it. The bad news is that it’s 15 hours long, but the good news is it’s broken into 30-45 minute segments, each describing the origin and impact of a specific invention. At a minimum, it will give you something useful to ponder when you wake up at 4:00AM, staring at the ceiling. For instance, did you know the Chinese crossbow was a mechanism with interchangeable parts – 2,000 years before the Industrial Revolution?

A meeting of great minds who think alike