Are You a Leader Worth Following?
A Leader Worth Following
Are you a leader worth following? Remember “Follow the Leader”, that game we all played as kids? It was a simple game that most small children really enjoyed. Back then you didn’t give much thought to whether or not you should follow the leader. And the leader didn’t give much thought to whether or not he or she was worth following. Everyone just fell in line and played the game.
Things don’t work like that in the real world. It might be nice if they did, but most people don’t want to follow the leader unless they know where the leader is taking them. Furthermore, people first want to know if their leader is even worth following, no matter the destination. So if you’re a leader, or want to be a leader, how can you know if you’re worth following?
Traits People Want to Follow
The key to getting people to want to follow you is having the right traits. Let’s look at what some of the most important traits of leadership.
A Leader Worth Following Has an Operating System–think of your workplace. How is it run? When running a business you can either make it up as you go, or you can implement an operating system. In other words, you have a process of running your business in place. Winging things might be fun, but it’s much harder to handle difficult situations if there is no operating system in place. So, good leaders use an operating system.
A Leader Worth Following is Accountable–good leaders hold people, including themselves, accountable. How do they do this? They use consequences. If there are no consequences for breaking the established expectations then employees will not respect those expectations. Therefore, good leaders use set consequences to hold people accountable for their actions. Of course, those expectations and consequences need to be fair and they need to apply to everyone.
A Leader Worth Following is Direct–a direct and decisive leader is a leader worth following. Someone who beats around the bush, can’t make important decisions, and tries to avoid conflict or hurting people’s feelings is not worth following. Be honest and direct and get to the point. Your employees will follow suit.
A Leader Worth Following Doesn’t Feed Their Own Ego–a good leader doesn’t worrying about getting praise from everyone else. He or she doesn’t waste time trying to build up his or her image. Instead, a good leader is confident in his or her abilities and they don’t mind praising others and building others’ egos. This includes putting others first. Good leaders put their employees’ welfare over their own.
A Leader Worth Following Earns It– It doesn’t make you a good leader just because you own the company or business. You can’t buy leadership; you have to earn it by your decisions, including the people you hire.
A Leader Worth Following Supports Their Managers–good leaders understand how important it is to support their managers all the way down the line. Managers, especially middle managers, have the task of being the in-between for the upper management and the lower level employees. They need the support of good leaders. As the “middle man,” so-to-speak, they also have insight into what is working and what needs to be fixed. So leaders should not only support them, but also rely on them.
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Are you a leader worth following? YES!
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