Stop gaining followers start growing leaders
Do you forget what’s important? Sadly, I do.
I’m thankful a new friend from India made a comment about gaining leaders rather than gaining followers. He reminded me my personal priority isn’t followers it’s leaders. My blog says, “Helping leaders reach higher in 300 words or less.”
I believe high impact leaders succeed by going beyond gaining followers to growing leaders.
You can become a person who grows leaders if you:
#1. Purposely choose serving over being served.
#2. Intentionally embrace the values, mission, and vision of others. I’m not suggesting you jettison your own values. However high impact leaders step outside themselves and into others. For example, limiting my focus to leaders in the not-for-profit sector narrows my opportunities.
#3. Learn from others. I find leaders enjoy sharing their experiences, successes, and wisdom. Every time you learn from another leader, honor them. Honor opens the door to influence.
#4. Don’t demand immediate return on your investment. Do believe broader connections create broader value-adding opportunities.
#5. Use selfishness to point the way. I know better, but I find selfishness runs deep in my heart. I’m not proud of how frequently I think of the benefit I might receive from giving to others. It’s short-sighted but, I still do it. The hidden benefit of selfishness is it points to what I should give others. For example, wanting honor is the signal to give honor.
#6. Take the back seat. Prepare others for leadership then step back. Stepping back so others can step forward taps hidden potential and creates high growth opportunities. Young leaders learn to lead by leading.
#7. Be you. Share your joys and sorrows, successes and failures.
I’m excited to read your suggestions on how to become a person who grows leaders.
Quite an essential trait for any successful person, CEO in particular, to prepare a team of leaders to grow multi fold. The responsibility of working on newer opportunities and challenges is then shared by many others. This is how good Indian companies have grown in the last one decade and spread their wings across the globe. The CEO would then take a back seat and focus more in strategic thinking, leaving existing business operations in the hands of well nurtured new leaders within the organization.
It is even important to gain followers till the business is small and the leader hasn’t tasted the real success.
The expression, “well nurtured” sticks out. In a short blog all the bases are never covered. You remind us that stepping back is preceded by preparation.
As always, my best to you,
I like the concept of Leading from Behind. Came across this idea recently and it makes a lot of sense to me. Part of the challenge of growing leaders is to provide a community of comfort, understanding and support. Everyone has the capability to lead if nurtured appropriately and efforts sanctioned. To paraphrase Gandhi, success is not measured by the number of wins but by the efforts put forth. With that in mind, followers must provide their best efforts and leaders should recognize this by stepping “behind” letting them see you but never too close to stifle their innovation and ideas. All of us can lead and teach but just the same follow and learn. “The teacher will appear when the student is ready.” (Budhist Maxim) We are having a leadership Academy put on by the Advisory Board which has been well received and presently has about 30 Physicians enrolled. The Executive Team is present to facilitate, encourage, and provide guidance when needed. The world for sure needs leaders but no one wants a “boss.”
You packed useful information in a brief comment.
I notice that you mention, “success is measured by the efforts put forth.” I’m reading more about this idea. Companies that create safe innovative environments honor effort more than success. The key ingredient to honoring effort that’s followed by failure is capturing lessons learned.
Thank you for adding value to the LF community.
Al’s connected with Harbin Clinic – http://harbinclinic.com/
“#4 Don’t demand immediate return on your investment”…caused me to think along the lines of short term leadership and short term goals and long term leadership and long term goals…how long?
Part of what I am reading between the lines here, could go beyond ‘your term’ as leader, fits into legacy concepts, societal good and might give a here and now leader opportunity to vision beyond even his/her time as leader. Tough to do though. It’s hard to drain the swamp when the gators are biting.
Thank you for dropping in. It’s always a pleasure.
I agree that not demanding ROI for your efforts is a “long-term” approach. Personally, I find the short term approach tempting. I love that you brought the term “legacy” to the conversation.
You have my regards,
You are welcome Mr. Rockwell 🙂 And man, you are quick!
The title is bang on target : Stop GAINING followers, start GROWING leaders. Its gaining vs growing, short-term vs long-term, ego satisfaction vs true spiritual satisfaction.
One more important point could be to revel in disagreements, in individuality and communicating that.
For example, my sister (younger to me) has been influenced by me a lot… But she makes me most proud when she expresses her individuality by disagreeing with me.
But I still fall into the trap of gaining followers because it just feels so good, right? Its our inner narcissism at work. We have to guard against it.
Very important post for answer-men like me 😉
Yes, it was our conversation that stuck in my head and motivated me to jot down these thoughts. So you helped grow me. Thank you.
I see what you mean when you add “healthy disagreements” to ideas that grow leaders. Leaders learn how to get the most from disagreements. And I think it’s the mark of a mature leader to disagree well. Things like focusing on issues rather than personalities and controlling emotions come to mind.
Thank you for connecting with me and for your comment.
We have recently connected on Twitter so I thought I would come check your site. You have a wealth of information here! And I like that you do it in 300 words or less. I hope to glean some wisdom from your articles.
It’s a pleasure having you stop in. I look forward to hearing more from you. I see you also blog and participate in booksneeze at http://drjohnmcginn.com/
Success in your endeavors,
Taking the back seat is probably one of the points that few people do. It requires a lot of trust and faith in the potential leader.
I have seen this work, but I also have seen it fail miserably, especially when dealing with ungrateful people. I have learned that too much trust too early is a recipe for disaster.
Thanks for leaving your first comment on LF.
You’re point about failure and too much trust too soon is well taken.
I look forward to your future comments. Love your Project Management Website.
Leaders should essentially have three qualities; selflessness,service and sensitiveness. The motives and acts should be selfless. He should render services towards people, society without expectation. And third, he should sense the problems faced by others who need the help. Others connote needy, helpless and underprivileged people. The sensitiveness is the most important attribute a leader must have. I am apprehensive about the qualities and the words used for leaders like influence, followers, money, profit etc.
leaders live at razor’s edge and he or she should take risk and bounce every time he falls. The essence of leadership is not to be successful every time but bounce every time after you hit the bottom. In this sense, efforts are more important than the result, because effort is in your hand and result is not.
Thank you for your candid comment. I appreciate it. You’re adding value.
I’ve been reading more about the importance of rewarding effort. If you get what you reward then rewarding effort is useful to individuals and organizations.
Connected to you via twitter and just wanted to say your ‘300 or less’ articles are very insightful.
I would like to add Caution in using the term “growing leaders”. Others have commented that everyone can be a leader and though that’s true, I don’t think everyone is ready. Jim Collins said that you must put people first, but they must be quality people. I don’t think it’s a matter of growing but finding leaders. I’ve been reading that man is the only creature that can choose how it will grow, not like the tree who will grow as big as it can.
Be careful in trying to grow a leader who just wants to be a seed.
Thank you for your comment and insights on this important issue.
I think most would agree that anyone who expects to grow or find leaders is looking for someone who wants to lead in the first place.
I would also add, some people may fear leading. In this case finding someone with potential seems in order.
You have my best regards,
HI again Dan,
Start growing leaders-my opinion is we can do that:
1. by their personal example of character and behavior
2. by seeing the potential in every human – reveal others hidden skills
3. by POSITIVITY approach
4. INSPIRING !
Thanks for sharing with us your great Ideas.
Great seeing you again.
Thank you for adding suggestions on how to grow leaders I appreciate your contribution.