Follow The Leader

Follow The Leader

When I was a kid, I loved playing 'follow the leader'. We'd walk, skip or even run in a line and copy what the leader of the line was doing. It was so much fun. I found that my shy self always ran out of ideas of what to do and preferred following the others in the 'leader' role - it was much more fun and sometimes challenging to do what you were told.

I liken this to most people I meet. They prefer to follow others. They're not keen or interested to take the front of the line role and set the challenging tasks to be completed. However, they do like to be engaged and made to feel that they add value to what's been done.

I'm heading out in a moment to work with a client who plays  'Toe the Line' and they're concerned that their group of followers aren't committed to playing by the rules! They are continually told what to do and they're not following.

There are several reasons why they might not enjoy the 'toe the line' game.  So the client has called for guidance and we're 'work-shopping' the game with the followers. I'm going to introduce them to the game 'follow the leader' and see if they enjoy what it offers.

We can't push people to follow, however we can lead them and engage them to enjoy the game. Likewise we can't always be the leader in the game; it's worthwhile to play in the game to understand what's going on. 

Le't play!


How do you create followers?

If you're new to leadership, a new role or just the ‘new kid on the block’ then on your ‘to do’ list is – I must create followers. As there is no leadership if no-one bothers to follow you, work for you, love you, let alone, talk about you!

For the naturally witty, attractive and known identifies, this is a relatively easy task, however, for most of us, it’s ‘work’.

Creating followers requires you to:

1.       Focus on what you do not who you are; being good at it and ensure it helps others

2.       Make others feel important, rewarded and acknowledged

3.       Engage people by listening to them and asking “how you can help them achieve their goal & role.”

4.       Build trust and respect by being consistently consistent in your behaviour

5.       Welcome others into your life and allow them to take the gratitude for your work.

As you can see, it’s ‘hard work’ being in leadership. There’s no easy solution - I've been observing leaders for many years and these five approaches seems to work for most - most of the time.