Leading people means that they give you something very valuable, their trust in you to take them somewhere. Why would you give your trust to a “bad” person? Why would you follow someone who you didn’t believe cared for you? Well, there are a couple of reasons I can think of; 1. you need a paycheck, 2. you are stuck and are just waiting to jump ship to another job. Both scenarios are of organizations that are most likely not productive or unhealthy. With this bit of knowledge of followership, don’t we have the secrets to being a great leader? Be Good!!!
Your legacy in an organization starts on day one and builds to be your leadership potential. If your potential is low, take an objective look back over your legacy in the eyes of your potential followers. Would you admit that you may not be well liked, but think that doesn’t matter because you know the job better that others?
Followers will only follow rules to their stated limits. Followers that are inspired by a leader will always exceed expectations. (Me and some old Himalayan Shaman)
I am proposing a new promotional process for our mid-level leadership. I want to interview and investigate past performance rather than a written test and assessment center evaluation. This has caused some consternation, and I understand why. There is a high probability that the process could end up as a “good ol boy” system. There is also a possibility I can change the culture to one that understands that a legacy is worth more in leadership than a good test day. For the proposed process to work, I would have to build validation into our everyday culture that takes away the fears that our mid-level leaders can’t perform the job. I’m hoping I have them exceeding expectations on a regular basis.
Culture eats Strategy for Breakfast, (Peter Drucker, and then everyone else in the business world)
If the organization can grasp the idea of a culture that fosters growth in each other as much as the organization as a whole, leadership will be abundant. Good leaders emerge from the good follower that passes it on to those around him. You don’t have to be an anointed leader to care for those around you. Caring for and fostering the team is where the informal leaders garner a following. It then becomes a small step to the position of leader because people are used to following you already.
Aways be paying it forward.