Do you know what makes a leader worth following? You’ve been promoted to manager. It’s your first real management position and you don’t want to mess it up. You’ve had bosses who helped the team be more productive, others who interfered with productivity, and some who hindered performance. You don’t want to be one of the latter managers. Because you want to help. You want to be a leader. So, what defines a leader? It’s pretty simple—followers.
What Makes a Leader Worth Following?
To understand why some people are followed, you need to know why some people are not. They will not follow you just because you have a title. They may follow your instructions if you have the power to affect their career, but that’s not following a leader, is it? Following a leader means having belief and trust in the leader’s vision.
They will not follow you only for money. A small percentage may, but most people need more. Followers follow because they know what they’re doing is right; it has purpose. It means something, and they want to make a difference.
They will not follow you just because of your charisma. Don’t get me wrong—people may be attracted to your charm, but they won’t continue to follow if you lack substance. Followers want to know what you’re made of. They want leaders of character.
They will not follow you if you’re self-serving. Leaders who serve themselves and not their followers eventually have no one to lead. Followers want to know how you will help them.
They will not follow you because you said so. The quickest way to lose people is to shout, “DO WHAT I SAY not what I do.” Leaders lead by example.
They will not follow you if you’re mean-spirited, gossipy, negative, and vindictive. If you treat others poorly, people know you will eventually do the same to them. Followers want leaders who respect others.
And There’s Your Answer
What makes a leader worth following? What do people look for in a leader? People follow leaders who share a vision, make a difference, lead by example, and show respect to others. People want leaders who are made of character. Who do you follow?
How Can I Help You?
I like to help people and organizations, but I have three criteria I consider before taking an assignment – I believe in what the organization stands for, I know I can help, and it looks like fun. If you have any questions, Contact Me.
So, does your business have a management training plan? Because if not, many organizations, large and small, use my book, The New Manager’s Workbook a crash course in effective management, as the basis for their leadership development program. Check it out.