Reading from Inc Magazine this afternoon and came across a piece from Erika Andersen titled “Lead So Others Will Follow: 6 Tips.” This is probably about the third piece I have read from her as part of her new book, Leading So People Will Follow. Have downloaded the sample on iBooks…need to read it this week.
Andersen comments….”We’ve found that people look for six characteristics in deciding whether to align around a leader. “Followable” leaders are far-sighted, passionate, courageous, wise, generous and trustworthy. Here’s what that looks like in the day-to-day of entrepreneurial life.”
Being far-sighted means you see and share a clear and compelling vision of the future with your people. You see past obstacles and difficulties and focus on moving toward the future you all want to create.
As a passionate leader, your followers know what you stand for, and that you’ll stick to your guns even when the going gets tough. At the same time, you’re open to hearing their questions and concerns. You are committed without being dogmatic.
Being courageous means you make tough, necessary decisions even when doing so is uncomfortable or risky. And if a decision turns out badly, you’ll take full responsibility: admit your mistakes, apologize, and work to fix what’s wrong.
Being wise means you combine curiosity and objectivity. Your team can come to you for counsel, because they know that you’re reflective about important decisions and that you learn from your mistakes.
As a generous leader, you believe in your folks, provide balanced feedback, share credit, and teach what you know. As a result, your people can take on bigger and bigger roles in helping you grow the business.
Being trustworthy makes you a rock and a haven for your followers. They know you’ll always do your best to tell them the truth and to keep confidences. And they know, too, that you’ll do everything possible to get the results you promise.
While looking at some of the young leaders I work with… I struggle with helping them understand these six tips…really traits… as early in their career quest as possible–so how do we TEACH this? Next we have to look at the leaders around us–are they instructing in the six steps above? I don’t see or hear much of it. Now I fall back on a few posts from the last couple days–I really believe this is up to us. I use “us” as–anyone reading a blog like this, a post like this…or studying leadership….totally understands and is trying to get this right and trying to get better.
We will never have this down in any PEFECT manner…be the Super Model, be the Simple Man, be the leader in permanent beta and admit you don’t have it all together and you are still learning. Now ponder that thought and go back through the six steps above (far-sighted, passionate, courageous, wise, generous, trust worthy)…sums it up huh? Care for your people, be a part of the greater good… not personal power… it is so not about you. Does that even make sense?