Yellow Jersey Leadership

I know we are a long ways from the Tour de France, but I have been thinking about the dynamics of that great event for quite some time.  I’ve thought about the leadership of the person wearing the Yellow Jersey.  That person is the leader of the race.  But that individual is usually always never out front of the peloton (the group of 110+ riders you see all clumped together).  Although he’s not out in front, everyone is aware of where he is and what he has on his mind and how he is using his team.

Now and then there will be a break-away.  One or more riders take off from the pelatome and try and win the stage a head of everyone else.  The group looks at the wearer of the Yellow Jersey.  If he and his team are comfortable with the tempo of the race and how things are going, so is the peloton.  If he has worry written on his face, if he and his team move to the front and start working together to reel in those out in front, the rest of the peloton is too and all begin working together.

Too many times our view of leadership is someone who is in the lead showing the way.  It’s different in the peloton.  The leader is respected and people pick up cues as to what to do next.  The leader may win the Tour de France without ever winning a single stage during the three week event.  At times they may be at the back of the peloton, but still are considered to be the leader.

How about us.  Do we have the view of our leadership that we need to be out front?  Do people always have to see us up ahead, or do we have enough respect of our followers that they know we are the leader no matter what position we lead from?  Something worth considering for sure.

That’s my view anyway.




4 responses to “Yellow Jersey Leadership

  1. Very interesting idea, Dave. I’ve blogged on the idea of leading from the back, but I think your metaphor is a better one than I’ve heard before. It’s kind of a life-is-a-marathon-not-a-sprint idea, to mix metaphors.

    I’m grateful to Ruth for pointing me to your blog.

    • I have thought about the Yellow Jersey thing for quite some time now. As in all analogies it does fall a part if pressed too far, but I like the concept.



    • Thank you for your kind words. I think the metaphor of cycling only goes so far, but it’s worth thinking about anyway. Have a great week.



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