You aren’t a leader if you don’t have followers.
“He who thinks he leads, but has no followers, is only taking a walk.”
John Maxwell, “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership“
A young leader I coached received a leadership award.
I asked him, “Why did you receive this award?”
He said, “I have no idea.”
I said, ”Go find the reason.”
Successful leaders understand why others see them as leaders.
10 Questions that help leadership find you:
- What compelling benefit comes to those who follow you?
- What makes you inspirational?
- How do your competencies draw others? Strengths repel or attract.
- What role does vulnerability play in creating connection? Real leaders connect.
- How are you using authority to empower others? The fundamental shift of leadership is from you to them.
- What’s magnetic about your purpose?
- How is the direction you’re heading compelling? All leaders have destinations in mind.
- What role does gratitude play in your day-to-day routine? No one wants to follow a bitter leader. Gratitude says others matter.
- How good are you at letting others shine? Learn to influence from the fringes.
- What role does optimism play in your interactions? The great tension of leadership is between dissatisfaction with the present and hope for the future.
Bonus: How are you igniting passion in others?
Aspire to become worthy of being followed.
Lousy leaders focus on position, prominence, power, and authority and neglect becoming attractive individuals.
Great leadership begins with understanding and practicing great followership. I’ll never forget what the retired COO of Chick-fil-A said,
“Seeking Leadership roles never produced anything for me. When I chose the follower role there was no end to what I could accomplish.”
Jimmy Collins, “Creative Followership“
Guarantee: Leadership finds those who understand and practice followership.
The rest of the story: How to Brag without Being a Braggart.
What makes a leader worthy of being followed?