Be Outstanding at the Backend of your Leadership Role

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To be a successful leader you must be outstanding with both the frontend and backend of your leadership role. Let’s discuss the functions within those two areas.

The frontend of your leadership role is about taking charge, navigating, casting vision, influencing people so they produce results, developing people, building and maintaining relationships, empowering, being a change agent, etc. These are the roles which typically fuel a leader and are the most enjoyable to do. Most leaders already perform well within the frontend of leadership. The other side, the backend, is where a leader can have a difficult time.

The backend of your leadership roles is about attending meetings, writing reports, completing annul performance reviews, keeping written records of your staff, reading and responding to emails, tracking and giving any progressive disciplinary actions, writing down noteworthy discussions you have had with your staff or customers, etc. These are the less than glamorous, but necessary, sides of a leadership role. To a certain extent every leader has backend tasks or roles. Those functions depend on your position and responsibilities.

The fact is the frontend can often be easier and more exciting than the backend of leadership. If we are not careful we can use the frontend roles as an excuse to postpone or completely avoid doing the backend tasks of leadership. This can be devastating when it comes to being a successful leader because your stress and workload will quickly increase if the backend is not done, due to the neglected work pilling up. Personally, I can be tempted to jump into a crisis one of my staff is having with a child, spend time building a stronger relationships with my staff, or doing unnecessary busy work over the required blackened tasks or duties.

Leaders need to put in sufficient time and effort into the backend as they do the frontend. To help you do this I suggest scheduling and placing reminders of all the backend tasks you need to do. You can either scatter them throughout your week or take a block of time to work on them. When you have the specific time planned make sure to discipline yourself while avoiding any distractions to get all the backend tasks finished. Force yourself to do the backend tasks so you will be effective and successful within your leadership role.

Questions: How do you balance the frontend and backend of your leadership role? What has helped you to focus on and get done the required backend tasks?

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21 thoughts on “Be Outstanding at the Backend of your Leadership Role

  1. You hit right on the head Dan. I was enjoy the front end of leadership and from time to time am prone to avoid the backend. Front end is really more exciting and enjoyable. I keep track of the backend using Outlook Tasks to set reminders for those boring less glamorous back end tasks

  2. I’m the opposite of most on this one, Dan. I’m a “backend” sort of person. I like the behind-the-scenes area. Staying organized makes me a better leader. I’m frazzled and ineffective otherwise.

  3. I think the backend is the engine room for the front end. Like stoking the coal fires of a steam engine. Great article. Thanks.

  4. Both sides are important. Can’t neglect one area or both areas will suffer…though I tend to gravitate more toward the back end stuff.
    Takes all kinds of people to make this world work. :)