Good Leaders Are Good Followers
Good Leaders Are Good Followers
Leadership is an elusive quality and like so many characteristics of the outstanding human being, very difficult to describe. I think each of us has his own definition of leadership and what makes a good leader. In my opinion, a good leader is one who, first of all, has been a good follower, one who has proven oneself able to take instructions, able to subordinate one’s will to the will of others who have assumed the responsibility of leadership, able to make constructive comments and debate issues when necessary and able to stand up for the principles in which one believes. Having done this one can be called a good follower and begins to qualify for leadership although, I must say, not all good followers make good leaders. There are some people who are marvelous as choir singers but terrible as choir directors. Many of us are excellent followers but not all of us are good leaders.
To be a good leader, I believe one has to know where he is going, needs to understand what purposes and objectives are to be reached, needs to cling to those purposes and objectives and never compromise with the truth. Now there are times when he may have to bend a little, yield a little, but he always keeps a clear vision of the ultimate goal that he and his group wish to attain, and he dedicates himself totally and completely to achieving that goal ethically.
I use the term “ethically” because I am speaking of the kind of leadership that comes out of a godly community. A leader has to be one so dedicated to the highest principles of the cause for which he or she is working that he never deviates therefrom, never allows himself to be distracted, never allows himself to become complacent, lazy, slothful or careless in his operation. A good leader is one who is slow to judge others, quick to evaluate and criticize himself in order that he might benefit from his own self analysis and improve himself constantly. A good leader is one who listens to constructive criticism and who hears honest complaints and evaluates them with good judgment in order that he might apply that which is positive and affirmative to the attainment of the goals to which he is dedicated.
A good leader is one who remembers that without followers he has no one to lead; therefore, he shows respect for his followers. A good leader is one who never loses sight of the fact that it is his followers who make him a leader for it is his followers who give him the impetus and the impact that he carries. A good leader is one who is willing to give up his life and his wealth if the cause is lofty enough, if the principles are high enough and if the stakes are meaningful enough. A good leader as I started to say before knows where he is going so that he does not mislead his people.
If a leader knows where he is going he knows his followers have confidence in his ability to lead them. A good leader must know where he is going and must understand how he is going to get there, be able to give clear directions to those who are following in order that he might inspire confidence in those who are following him. Above all a good leader understands that he is not the be-all and the end-all of leadership. He is humble enough to know that there is a Power greater than himself, upon which he must constantly call for guidance and strength, that there is the ultimate Leader of all who inspires each of us, who protects every worthy cause and who shelters us against harm.
Many qualities are same between leaders and followers. A great leader follows the same trait as followers do but change their style and do some modification in it. Great leader knows their boundary and limitation very well. Good leadership is the golden key to get best performance. Need to imply your own clear sets of values and belief and also have to make clear vision for all. Develop some creative ideas for the organization to make changes and reach up to desire goal. From this perspective, leaders are always try that people follow the process and in this way leader always think themselves as a follower. There is very important reason to leaders that they have to follow because no one can do it alone and have to create and utilize the energy, ideas and full potential of everyone.
Leadership requires a close study of human behavior. It is the people who are the factors of importance. There are many different points of view about leadership. One belief is that leadership has to be taught while some are of the view that leaders can’t be made by teaching or training. In this modern age, new leaders are coming but most of them fail to cultivate their inner strength, ability to guide the people, to lead the people. There are three basic steps which are followed mostly in the process of training. Information is the first step, gets from simple reading and continuous study which then converted into knowledge. Wisdom is the transformation of knowledge. Trained person has to be able to transfer the knowledge into the practice. As a result of training, one should become more self-confident. On receiving training, knowledgeable person becomes capable of taking his own decisions and at this stage; person visualizes the truth-real understanding. There are few requirements to reach to the truth, in ascending direction that are desire to learn, listening to the teacher, learning, retention, understanding, reflection, rejection of false views and truth.
5 Ways Being A Good Follower Makes You A Better Leader
Today, leaders need to be aware of various audiences including colleagues, coworkers, customers, board members, and the public at large. As a leader, you need to be aware of what it takes to “bring them along.”
Being a follower teaches you how to be aware of the needs of other people as well as their potential to “make my life hell from one second to the next,” she says. Good followers learn to read people and understand what upsets and motivates them.
When good followers encounter a co-worker with rabid political beliefs or a disagreeable manager, they’re probably not going to fight every battle, Kellerman says. Playing the part of the follower is easier, simpler, and often less risky.
Good followers learn how to get along with those who have differences while not ignoring those differences. That’s an important leadership trait, too, because a leader or manager can’t afford to be oblivious to the attitudes of those around him or her, Kellerman says.
Being a good follower means having the courage to dissent if you think your leader, manager, or superior, is doing something wrong-headed, Kellerman says. That’s not always easy, but it requires the guts and strength of conviction that are essential to good leadership, Kellerman says.
“Being a good follower is complicated in ways that are rather similar to being a good leader. It means being engaged. It means paying attention. It means having the courage to speak up when something’s wrong and it means having the energy and activism to support a leader or manager who’s doing things wisely and well,” she says.
In many ways, followers can “make or break” the leader influencing if and how goals are accomplished, Riggio says. In many business sectors, followers are the ones who are doing much of the creative work, although the leader may get most of the credit. Leaders who have been good followers understand how to work with people to bring out the best in them.
“Did Steve Jobs really create the iPod and iPhone, or was it the creative collective of team members at Apple? Today, leaders may be evaluated not only by how much is produced or achieved, but by the quality of the team or organization and its members,” he says.
In order to be a good follower, you need to be able to think for yourself. Riggio says the best followers support and aid the leader when he or she is doing the right thing, and stand up to the leader when he or she is headed in the wrong direction.
“Many of the same qualities that we admire in leaders–competence, motivation, intelligence–are the same qualities that we want in the very best followers. Moreover, leaders, regardless of their level, also need to follow,” he says.
By Father James C. Meena & Barbara Kellerman