Are You An Invisible Leader?

Jun 29, 2021 2 min read
Are You An Invisible Leader?

Invisible leadership is different to visible leadership. Invisible leadership is recognizing you won’t get the credit for much of the work you do. Here's why.

Invisible leadership is about growing up. So says Eddie Obeng, author of Putting Strategy to Work: The Blueprint for Transforming Ideas into Action.

But what is invisible leadership? Why do we need it? And why is this a trait of lazy leadership?

Visible Leadership

Invisible leadership is different to visible leadership. Invisible leadership is recognizing you won’t get the credit for much of the work you do.

In contrast, visible leadership is about ego. It’s doing something because it elevates status and gives the leader credit. It’s playing to win at all costs.

When it is not in our power to follow what is true, we ought to follow what is most probable. – René Descartes

Visible leaders push. They are controlling. They command.

Visible leaders play politics and always want something tangible to hold on to. They say: “Here, look at me!” because they want a pat on the head. They’re childish.

The Invisible Leader

Invisible leadership is different. Invisible leaders operate in the real world. They try to create an environment where people can make decisions, and deliver exceptional results.

The greater the man, the less is he opinionative, he depends upon events and circumstances. – Napoléon Bonaparte

Invisible leadership is about progress. It’s taking responsibility for making a better future. Invisible leadership is understanding problems, not the solutions.

Invisible leaders pull. They empower. They enable. People follow.

Invisible leaders create opportunity to deliver the change business needs. They don’t say anything, they simply get on with it.

Growing up


Do people choose to follow you? Or do they fear your authority? Do peers block your every move?

Organisations naturally engender a prejudice in favour of obstruction. – Richard Ollard

If so, it is time to grow up. Stop fighting and let people choose to follow. This may seem unlikely, but it is true. When you back off, people follow. When you push, people resist.

So face up to the true purpose of leadership — empowering others — and let go of your ego. Start practising invisible leadership. Be a lazy leader!


Do you make followers or create leaders?  How much time do you think you waste negotiating personal agendas as office politics? Join me, the Lazy Leader, on this journey to find the easiest, simplest way to achieve what is required to succeed in leadership.

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