All of us want to be leaders in our spheres at one point in life. To be the boss or guide the followers appeases us all. It could be any of the ‘C’s influencing and driving your behavior- courage, confidence, communication, clarity, calmness or collaboration skills.
In my observation and experience, to be a good leader you’ll require a great deal of patience and being a good follower will certainly lead you to the helm of the affairs.
Why should you be a Good Follower to be a Great Leader?
With the advent of technology and fast paced commercial world, it is imperative for leaders to be great followers as you will learn and harness skills that are quintessential for continued success. Some of the skills and benefits that you will reap being a follower in the shoe of a leader are:
- Listening Skills – You have to just follow the right advice, it doesn’t matter where or which level it comes from. As a follower-leader you will lend an ear to everyone.
- Engagement – You encourage honest discussions within the team, value involvement from everyone in the planning and execution of tasks.
- Solution-Oriented – Proficient solutions are likely to come from the people closer to the real problem. So you encourage avant-garde solutions from peers and followers alike.
- Insights – As a leader who follows, you will gain a good insight into the actual dynamics of the work and may even deploy diplomacy to deal with an antagonist in your department.
Only leaders who have been good followers and continue being the same after acquiring leadership are the ones who can leave an indelible mark on the people.
Over to You
According to Barbara Kellerman, a leadership lecturer at Harvard University, there is a lot a person can learn about being a good leader by being a good follower.