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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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Juan Cruz Jr.

    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

    • Hi Juan,

      Great tool to allow you to complete all backend tasks. Thank you for adding your wisdom here.

  • 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.

    • I wish I was more like you:) Keep up the great work:)

    • I tend to be like this too, Kari. Having things organized makes me feel better.
      In fact, the more chaotic my life becomes the more organized and cleaner my house becomes. I think it’s a control issue for me. I can control the “back end” things better than the front end.

      • It’s definitely a control issue for me, TC. I am learning to find balance between working at what I should control and releasing what is not meant for my control.

        • Me too, Kari. It’s an ongoing process.

  • Ralph Mayhew

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

    • I totally agree with you Ralph! Thank you for sharing your wisdom.

  • Good thoughts Dan. I need to continue to work on the backend. :)

  • 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. :)

    • I totally agree. I think we tend to gravitate or be good at one or the other. Thank you for adding to the discussion. It’s great to hear from you, hope all is well.

      • Just adjusting to life as a mom of two. :)