Leaders being Led: Lessons of Strength
Do you know the best leaders follow too?
How can following strengthen leadership?
Do you balance leading and following?
This past week I was at a global conference presenting on “How to Optimize Leadership and Business Performance”. Our topic was well received by many and apparently the need for better leaders is global. So I will share with you what I learned on by first trip to Europe, my first trip to a global conference, and my first experience being recognized as a scholar. Ready?
Follow the Leader…
I am a leader. Every time I am in a group, I am chosen to lead, facilitate, or be the spokesperson for the group… often times I don’t even say anything prior and I am chosen. This was frustrating for many years. Now, I understand my leader-ship capabilities were recognized, even when I didn’t notice!
Through out this past week, this leader played the role of follower in the game “Follow the Leader”. I was following a leader who knew how to travel throughout Europe, has been to a global conference, and is recognized as a scholar. I was taught how to survey the area which needed to be traveled (Vienna), and all the different options of transportation available to move about. How to prepare and present at a global conference, as well as step into the role of scholar.
My leader was well versed in these options. She taught me how to think about where I was when everything was foreign – even the language. My leader is a former military officer and she was a great leader of the unit of us. She instructed and guided me to learn how to maneuver myself in a foreign land and experience. I took instruction and learned tremendously. The whole experience was a non-stop learning experience.
It was good to be in the follower’s role. I found it valuable to remember the experience of being led and how much impact (emotionally and mentally) a leader has upon followers. This definitely assists me in remembering the full impact of a leader. The precise moment I chose to surrender and be lead, is the moment, I became a better leader because I once again remembered what leading is about… people. Actually, it was quite refreshing to surrender – a very different perspective. I found that not having to “always have the answer” was great! How cool, I didn’t need to have every possible answer.
The Fine Balancing Act of Leading and Following
Should leaders always lead? I don’t believe it is always best. Matter in fact, I believe the best leaders allow others to lead as often as possible!
Leaders need to be organized, function as subject matter experts, prepared, and understand people. Suddenly, something as simple as “turn around and see if you have people walking with you” became much more complex! Thus, I believe it is important to be a true follower to help you remember how it feels to be a follower. Then, you will hone your skills and capabilities to be a better leader.
TIPS: Take the time and find the circumstances to be a true follower. It’s OK, no one expects a leader to be a leader in everything… surely there is something you aren’t already an expert at. Once you find it surrender into the sheer joy of following! You just might be surprised at the delight this brings you. Most likely, you will learn how to be an even greater leader!
Your Business Rescue Coach wants to know: What have you learned when you have allowed yourself to be a follower? Share in the comment sections so we can learn from each others 🙂
THANKS FOR ALLOWING ME TO HELP YOU IMPROVE YOUR BUSINESS!
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