Saturday, May 7, 2011

Have you followed before leading?

To become a great leader you must be an excellent follower.  Everyone that's an inspiring leader wishes they had all of the tools they needed when they first step into that leadership position.  However, that's not case so we learn the majority of our leadership lessons from following another leader.  Here are my top three reasons why it's so important to follow before leading.

1. If you can't complete the small tasks how can you complete the big ones?

One of the strongest qualities a leader has is to the ability to get things done though others. Whether it's running a executive meeting or printing out the PowerPoint slides that support the executives main points for the meeting, all of these things are needed for success.  The small tasks will always add up to the big tasks.  Think of this concept like a single drop of water into a cup, after time the glass will become full or overflow.  Bottom line, if you are incapable of successfully completing the small items no one will trust you to accomplish the large ones. 

2. Learn life lessons based off the leaders experiences

Some of the best lessons learned are directly from the leaders themselves.  If you are lucky enough to have a leader who will honestly admit where they have made the right and wrong decisions in their leadership position take advantage of the time that you have with him or her.  However, if you are not in a position to receive a direct lesson from him or her do your research based of what others wrote on them.  This will give you a better understanding of some of the experiences they have gone though and gives you the information you need for your future professional endeavours.

3. Learning to follow will help you lead

Following is supporting someone to accomplish their goals.  There's one trait that you must have to be a great follower that will ultimately turn you into a great leader, be humble.  Being humble will put you in a position to always learn something even when you think the leaders decision is wrong.  We've all been in a situation where you strongly disagreed with the leaders decision but recognized the lesson from the decision.  Becoming the biggest sponge you can be when you are following will give you the tools you need to eventually lead one day.

What have you learned as a follower that's helping you lead today?

1 comment:

  1. My pastor always talks about how you are supposed to pour into someone what has been poured into you, which is an excellent quality. Clearly, if someone is pouring into you, you are under their tuttelage and mentorhsip as a follower and then you take those values and pour into someone else as their leader :)