Why should anyone follow you?

Stated simply, leaders have followers. Put negatively, if you don’t have followers you’re not leading. Here’s the big question, why are people following you?

Successful leaders
know why others follow.

  1. What value are you bringing to followers? In other words, what do they receive from giving you their allegiance? Consider things like new skills and a sense of purpose. Leadership may begin with you but it always transitions to value derived by them.
  2. What qualities do you have that inspire followers? For example, your confident outlook or expressions of gratitude lift and invite people to follow you. Collins in, Good to Great, suggests humility draws followers. Or, is it dynamic charisma? Do people look at you like a father, mother, or brother? On the other hand, are you the powerful captain of the ship?
  3. What competencies do you have that draw followers? People enjoy following a leader with presence and ability. Our CEO is a gifted strategist. Our manager knows how to enhance efficiency. Know and play to your strengths.
  4. What direction do you have that makes others want to follow? The past is like a magnet to many. Leaders don’t let the past determine the future. Articulating and pursuing clear, relevant, and meaningful vision creates alignment and allegiance.

I’ve asked leaders to describe why others follow them. It’s not unusual for them to hum and haw. Perhaps it’s false humility. In other cases, they don’t know. In either case, successful leadership is seldom an accident.

I believe you’ll reach higher and go farther if you know why there’s a constituency gathering around you.


Why do you think people follow a leader?

More importantly, why do people follow you?


If you enjoyed this post, you may enjoy: Why do people follow? It contains a list of resources focused on followership.