“He who thinks he leads, but has no followers, is only taking a walk,” state John C. Maxwell and Steven R. Covey in “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership.”
Dan Rockwell, who blogs under the nickname “Leadership Freak” (leadershipfreak.wordpress.com) recalls mentoring a young leader who was recognized for his work.
“Why did you receive this award?” Rockwell asked.
“I have no idea,” was the reply.
“Go find the reason,” Rockwell said.
Successful leaders understand why others see them as leaders.
10 Questions that help leadership find you
• What compelling benefit comes to those who follow you?
• What makes you inspirational?
• How do your competencies draw others? Strengths repel or attract.
• What role does vulnerability play in creating connection? Real leaders connect.
• How are you using authority to empower others? The fundamental shift of leadership is from you to them.
• What’s magnetic about your purpose?
• How is the direction you’re heading compelling? All leaders have destinations in mind.
• What role does gratitude play in your day-to-day routine? No one wants to follow a bitter leader. Gratitude says others matter.
• How good are you at letting others shine? Learn to influence from the fringes.
• What role does optimism play in your interactions? The great tension of leadership is between dissatisfaction with the present and hope for the future.
Bonus: How are you igniting passion in others?
“Aspire to become worthy of being followed. Lousy leaders focus on position, prominence, power and authority and neglect becoming attractive individuals,” Rockwell says.
“Great leadership begins with understanding and practicing great followership. I’ll never forget what the retired COO of Chick-fil-A said, ‘Seeking Leadership roles never produced anything for me. When I chose the follower role there was no end to what I could accomplish.’”