Leading from the weeds

In the business world, “being in the weeds” is often positioned as the antithesis of leadership. Indeed, many managers frame it as negative in their performance reviews. “I was stuck in the weeds,” they say.

While there’s truth to the idea that being in the weeds means you may miss the larger picture, the best leaders were born in the weeds. Their experience in the weeds is what grants them the perspective they need to lead.

Leading from the weeds often demands mastery over a specific set of in-demand industry skills and having the mindfulness to occasionally step back to assess the project and the team to recalibrate if necessary.

It’s a mix of hard and soft skills, and can result in days or weeks split between being a maker and being a manager.

Those who lead from the weeds are able to “dig in the dirt” to get things done and “stand on the logs” to assess overall progress.

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