Sunday, August 4, 2013

"Follow the Leader?"

"A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way,
and shows the way." - John C. Maxwell
In our last article we discussed the fact that POSITION does NOT make a LEADER. In case you missed it, just go back to the last article and also go to and you can view the video-cast from the front page and listen to the podcast by clicking on the video-cast tab and clicking either the iTunes icon or the RSS feed icon.
Just a quick review...
Too many think that having a title or "position" automatically qualifies them to be a leader and to have others follow them. That's about as wrong of an idea that anyone can have yet, it seems that it surrounds us, right? I mentioned that people may do what they are told to do out of fear of losing their job but they are not FOLLOWING this person because they are a leader.
Big difference.
I also shared the mindset of a "boss" (NOT a leader) that I came across recently that actually told his employees that he didn't care about them - came right out and said it twice during a 20 minute introductory period - and that they way he worked was, "I SAY - YOU DO!".
Wow. I wonder how many people he won over that day. I can answer that question as easily as you can - NONE! I can promise you that there is NO loyalty to this person among those who work under him. I can also promise you that not ONE person would stand up and "go to bat" for this man. NONE.
Effective leadership? Not even close.
"Follow me!" But I ask, "Why?"
John C. Maxwell (whom I've had the pleasure of hearing speak) hits the nail on the head in the quote used at the start of this article. We follow a leader that KNOWS, GOES and SHOWS the way!
Can you see the difference? Instead of "Do this because I say so" we see the idea of "Follow me because I know this is the way. Why? How do I know? Because I've BEEN there and I can SHOW you the way, too!"
Have you ever followed someone in an automobile that was supposed to know where they were going but you figured out pretty quickly that they had no more idea where to go than you did? Not fun and not productive.
Once, while traveling through a part of Mexico, I got lost. Yes, a male admitting that he got lost. I could not find my way out of one particular town to get on the road that I needed to be on to get OUT of that town and on my way. I had learned a secret from a previous trip with someone that had "been there and done that". (This man was a leader even before I needed the leadership!) The answer was to find someone that KNEW the way because they had BEEN that way and could SHOW me the way! What did I do? I found a taxi driver and showed him on the map where I needed to go (since I don't speak Spanish this was quite comical) and asked (again, quite comical) if he would lead me there. Once we finally connected through a series of hand motions, pointing to the map and me literally acting out what I needed, the gentleman got in his taxi and allowed me to follow him out of town and on my way.
This chosen course led to me successfully going along my way and, friend, this same course will do two things for you:
1. If you are a leader - a REAL leader - it will allow you to lead in such a way that others will GLADLY and VOLUNTARILY follow.
2. If you seek to follow someone in order to continue down your course to success, this leader will get you there. Seek these leaders out!
Powerful. Productive. Proven.
Hey, think about this and we'll discuss it more in our next visit...Did you know when you follow such a leader that, in turn, you will have others following you? Look at the picture above and realize the truth in that statement.
Until next time...
"Make it an AWESOME day! (Who else is going to do it for you?)"