It means trust and devotion to follow someone. It means allowing them to be the one in charge versus us always telling them what to do. It means we have to believe that they will take us to a good place, a better place, a safe place. And it means we must surrender control to where they are going.
Being a good leader means being a good follower FIRST. You cannot lead if you are unwilling or unable to follow…CANNOT LEAD. Strong words and yet most of us can point to a leader who leads poorly, neurotically or even selfishly. If we then trace back their problem as a leader it usually points to an inability to follow. Following means we are willing to love and nurture someone else’s idea. One of the most loving things we can do for someone is follow them, no matter where they go, no matter how sporadic or chaotic, how fearful or fun the path may become…we must follow. It shows love at a different level than most people have ever experienced before.
Once we learn to follow, we are then able to truly lead from a point of positive energy and loyalty. We will be loyal to those on our team and they have someone who is not in it for themselves that they can follow. By first following we learn the lessons of what good leadership contains, even if the leader we follow is not a good leader.
I hear people all the time talk about wanting to be a leader. My first question is where did you learn to follow? Depending upon what they say, we are then able to progress towards leadership. If they haven’t followed, can’t follow, won’t follow the conversation goes a much different direction. Leadership is not a privilege, it is a responsibility Nd not one to be taken lightly. Want to be a leader of people, or ideas, of innovation…learn to follow first.