“Sometimes it’s okay not to take the lead, sometimes it’s okay to let someone else speak up and show you the way.” Seth Godin, Tribes
Phew! The pressure is off. So we don’t need to lead, unless compelled to do so.
Consider this for a moment. In almost every area of our lives today we are bombarded with demands to ‘follow’. ‘Following’ is the hot prize.
Our ‘follow’ is sought after; a spellbinding object of desire. It is the goal of many military-style campaigns and heroic quests, led by individuals who claim, no DEMAND, that they deserve to be followed. Our choice of who or what to follow is valuable; our engagement with the object of our ‘follow’ is priceless. With such a thing of value in our possession, we must resist the urge to mindlessly follow without evaluating. Without critical evaluation we risk commoditizing and ultimately devaluing our ‘follow’. We have the power to choose who is deserving of our follow – who is worthy of leading us.
12 Killer Criteria to Help Choose a Follow-Worthy Leader
As you answer the following questions, imagine and focus on the Leader desiring you to follow them. To help, circle YES or NO to the following statements.
1. They see leadership as an honour and a privilege to serve others (tribe, team, colleagues etc.). YES/NO
2. The Leader is not chasing prestige or position; but rather generously ensures that their followers shine. YES/NO
3. They have a big idea or cause they believe will make a change for the better. They want you to join them. YES/NO
4. The Leader is able to rally followers behind the big idea or cause and inspire them to help make a difference. I believe and I want to follow. YES/NO
5. When I engage with the Leader I feel energized. I gain insight, knowledge or experience that inspires to be my best self and helps to transform me/my business/my idea. YES/NO
6. They don’t obsess about the opinion of others – focusing instead on doing what’s right over what’s popular. YES/NO
7. The Leader strives to master the art of listening – actively listening to those who might not be right or agree with them. He/she seeks to understand what makes those they serve tick so they can lead from a position of intelligence and better serve their followers. YES/NO
8. The Leader builds an authentic emotional and ethical connection between themselves and their followers – a bond of mutual trust, respect and admiration. I feel this connection. YES/NO
9. They are confident to lead a group who may have more knowledge and skill than them. They zero in on removing obstacles out of the group’s way so the members can do their best work. They seek to attract the best talent/minds to them. YES/NO
10. The Leader can function effectively under pressure. YES/NO
11. When the situation calls for someone else to take the lead; the Leader will step aside to let them lead. YES/NO
12. He/she has a sense of fun and humour – particularly the ability to laugh at themselves. YES/NO
Your final decision: Follow YES/NO
Can you add to this critieria? I would love to read them.
Go forth and choose your Follow-Worthy Leader.