The Leader as a Follower?
“Remember your leaders who taught you the Word of God. Think of all the good that has come from their lives, and follow their example of faith.”
I really enjoy reading, studying, writing, and teaching about leadership. I even enjoy actually leading! One aspect of leadership that is often overlooked, however, is that of following. If I don’t follow well, I am not going to lead well.
At every level of leadership, there should always be someone that we are looking to for guidance, coaching, and accountability. An important character quality that effective leaders must have is that of humility. Humility allows us both to follow and to lead. In his excellent book, Follow the Leader, Simon McIntyre, @simonmci on Twitter, defines humility as, “being able to be told something about yourself or performance that requires correction or serious attention.”
The person who views themselves only as a leader is missing out on valuable feedback that can only come when we are also a follower. Our subordinates probably are not going to point out our blindspots or areas that we need help in. We need a mentor, someone in a higher position, or who has greater experience than us. If we are going to lead well, we must also learn to follow well.
How are your “Followership” skills?
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