To Lead, you must first Follow..

We all follow someone, our God, our families even movie stars, sports figures and sometimes politicians. Well maybe not politicians, but we do find inspiration in others. Sometimes we don’t realize the influence our bosses have over us until years later. The flip side is that we also have people around us that we are influencing as well. You may not even know the impact you have on someone watching you.

“If you believe lack of authority prevents you from leading effectively, it is time to rethink your understanding of leadership.”

— Mike Bonem and Roger Patterson
Leading From the Second Chair

Being a good follower and developing your ability and knowledge of your craft/role/position allows you to become respected as someone who knows their business. This is the first step in leadership, knowledge. People are impressed with those who hold knowledge and will seek to emulate them or compete with them.  Either way, there is direct influence happening based on your presence of apparent knowledge.

The exposures you have to those who guide your path each day will culminate over time.  This culmination will build some inherent traits, some good some bad, that  shape your influence actions.  Even if you can’t stand your boss, he will cast influence. After behaving in a manner for some time, a comfort level will develop.  This behavior may not be your conscious decision, but anytime a person is stressed or threatened, there is a propensity to revert to a known, familiar action. This action really defines a large area of leadership. So what is the answer?  Walk the walk…The more you act dependable, accountable, and compassionate the more it will become you.

“Learning the secrets and skill of great No.2s remains the surest path to becoming No. 1.”

— David Heenan and Warren Bennis

I remember as a young officer feeling like time was standing still on my ladder climb. I just knew I could do it better than the guy above me. The grind of waiting and working was really a seasoning of sorts. I learned all the nuances of the day-to-day and some of those “rare” instances take time to experience. I spent seven years at a rank before promoting and as I look back now and I can see those years were necessary and priceless. I was good at my position, but learned to be better at following the position above me. It took many years for me to actually realize these benefits. When you must mentor those up and comers, the time starts to take on new meaning.

“Followers are more important to leaders than leaders are to followers.”

You must be very clear in your thoughts of who you want to be, and then work on presenting this image with your actions. Credentials and knowledge are the tickets to play, actually gaining membership into the realm of leadership will be gained with your actions, legacy and those most valuable of all, your followers.  Be a good follower to set the example and you’ll be the leader you aspire to be.

Parting Shot: Leadership is a gift from those who follow…..

Please click the link below and watch the ultimate followership youtube video…..

Followership instructional video…

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One thought on “To Lead, you must first Follow..

  1. Pingback: TT: Thankfulness,Tears and Anger « My So-Called Geek Girl Life

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