In the age of social media, where everyone relishes the idea of more and more followers, to hear someone say DON’T follow me probably sounds as a rare as the idea of purity does these days! But, I mean it…. as it pertains to leadership, of course.
I’ll start with a very true statement I live and lead by:
The best leaders aren’t followed… they are joined.
Isn’t that powerful!? I’ll go ahead and take credit for the quote, by the way :-).
To be a leader that’s joined and not followed means that your team believes in you and your vision so much that they come alongside you as you run the race towards realizing that vision. It also means that they have some say in the direction and the pace of the race. You want them to be invested in the success or failure of the vision.
Team members are most effective when you make them feel more like partners than subordinates. It’s the age-old conversation of management vs. leadership, in some ways. Your team needs to feel respected, valued, and like they have a voice that is heard.
Here are 4 ways to lose followers and gain partners!
Allow team members to contribute to the construction of the vision
Let go of the reins and give up some heavy responsibility. Give away a little power, gain a lot progress. The risk of not doing so is far greater than the risk of doing so.
Always provide opportunities for feedback. Afterwards, follow up and follow through!
Constantly keep the team abreast of any progress towards the vision. The creates excitement and increases continual engagement.
I will be honest and admit that as a perfectionist, #2 can sometimes be difficult for me. I like things done a certain way, i.e. perfectly lol, and delegation increases the risk of that not happening. But, if I’m going to be a “best leader” I have to learn to delegate with the best of them! And so I force myself to do it, as uncomfortable as it might be, and you know what? It’s not half bad!
Which of these is hardest for you? How do we work through that difficulty to make you a “best leader”? Drop a comment below and let’s discuss!