Follow the Leader

Follow The Leader

Follow the Leader – We’ve all heard that phrase since we were little kids…but when and how often have you answered that call? When we were little, most of us were happy to follow the leader so long as everybody else was following along too. You wanted to be accepted and therefore you went with the crowd and got along well, because you didn’t want to be left out. That is, unless you were one of the leaders. In that case, you were either leading the group or were angry because you were not being allowed to be the leader. As we grow-up and gain confidence, we all develop a personality and some independence, but at the end of the day, we are still either a follower or a leader.

Follow the Leader

In any group of people, there will always be those that lead and those that follow. A select few will take the responsibility to figure things out, while others will wait for direction on what to do next. The awesome thing is, both the leaders and the followers are as important as each other. If a leader has no followers, he cannot lead and is therefore not a leader. Without a leader and nobody to follow, very little gets accomplished, except out of necessity.

Another phrase that is often heard is that leaders are born, not made. Based on experience, this could not be further from the truth. Most people have the potential to become good leaders, but leadership takes lots of work, patience and more importantly risk/guts. It is certainly less risky to be a follower, isn’t it? We’ll revisit that in a bit. Like most learned skills, being a leader takes a lot of time, repetitive training, and lots of trial by error. Leaders generally have a sense of purpose, better know as goals. A good leader breaks down a goal into manageable steps and provides direction to those they lead to climb them and reach the goal or mission.

Follow the Leader Follow the Leader | Follow the Leader| Follow the Leader | Follow the Leader | Follow the Leader

True leadership is not based on name, position or rank. It is based on action, results and effectiveness. Some of the best companies strive to develop and create as many leaders as possible. W.L. Gore & Associates, makers of Gore Tex and other products, utilize the practice of natural leadership, “leadership by followship”, just like when we were kids! They don’t appoint people as leaders…they let the true leaders surface to the top. People naturally gravitate to those they respect, want to work with and more importantly, want to follow. There are no limiting job descriptions or job titles, and very few rules and regulations to slow you down. If a person comes up with a new idea, he or she puts a team together of people who have the desire and knowledge to make it work. Talking from experience, this really is the best way to go. These basic principles of the leader embracing the followers and being an equal to the followers, always add up to success and bring me to my next point.

The importance of the followers cannot be stressed enough. Without the followers, little to nothing gets done. Followers are the wheels that hit the pavement and drive towards the direction set by the leaders. The followers are the glue in any operation and can never be underestimated. Followers are very happy to be lead, so long as there is a sense of trust, stability, hope and compassion. In a leadership role, people skills are even more important than technical skills, even in an engineering company. Remember, leadership is about the future and moving things forward. The best leaders gain followers out of respect and their ability to get people to work toward a personalized goal or vision set by the leader. A real good leader helps people become better than they are. A good leader attracts, keeps and motivates its followers.

Follow the Leader | Follow the Leader | Follow the Leader| Follow the Leader | Follow the Leader | Follow the Leader | Follow the Leader| Follow the Leader | Follow the Leader | Follow the Leader

I recently came across this video posted in a domaining blog and it prompted me to write this article. I have had the pleasure of being a leader in the environmental consulting industry for the last 20 years and know for a fact that the only reason I was successful was because of my followers. The good thing is that I knew it then and let them all know it too along the way.

This is for all of you followers! For those of you who really know me, the dancer in this video may spark some memories. Enjoy!

Follow the Leader

Follow the Leader | Follow the Leader | Follow the Leader| Follow the Leader

Follow The Leader

Follow The leader

Wordpress SEO Plugin by SEOPressor