Sunday, December 11, 2011
Follow the Leader
A while back I had a discussion with a physician friend of mine about leadership.
A college was promoting itself as developing leaders. I'm sure quite a few schools are doing this as well as the military and various organizations. The question she posed was -- "Don't you think a college should also develop followers as well?"
I've given that some thought and I tend to agree with her. While there may come a time when a person should be ready to lead, there are many times when they should be willing to follow.
We all know natural-born leaders and those who think of themselves that way. The latter are the folks who get in the way because they won't relegate themselves as a follower in situations where they're not qualified to lead.
I suppose it's an ego thing with some folks. They find it difficult to let someone else lead the way. And there are people who don't like to lead; they prefer to follow.
To me, a strong leader is one who is willing to delegate "leader" responsibilities when they know it's for the best. A strong leader isn't afraid to follow.
And a strong follower doesn't blindly follow the leader. If there comes a time to provide meaningful advice or expert opinion, it is respectfully offered to the leader.
I'm sure you've heard the expression about having "too many chiefs and not enough Indians" (or too many bosses and not enough workers). That can stifle even the best of organizations. You've got to have folks willing to do the actual work.
Followers are just as important as leaders in reaching goals. Do you follow?
Until the next time...