“One who believes he or she is a leader but has no followers is really just out for a walk.” — John C. Maxwell
Every business leader wants their team to demonstrate an all-out commitment to their goals. When team members don’t respond with the desired level of engagement, frustration follows. The leader may tolerate low performance or exert positional authority with a command and control style.
Neither produces an environment conducive to long-term success.
What’s the alternative? Lead through influence.
It’s important for every leader to ask, “Why do people follow me?”
There are three reasons someone follows their leader:
Because they HAVE to: They follow because their leader is the boss, controls their paycheck, and can make their time at work pleasant or terrible. They don’t have a personal connection with their leader and might not respect them much either. A leader doesn’t have to try very hard to lead from this level. They shouldn’t expect much, either.
Because they WANT to: They follow because they have a personal connection to the leader and like the person as an individual. They may or may not fully believe in the direction the leader is taking them, but they are willing to give the leader the benefit of the doubt. To lead from this level, a leader must invest relationally and show they care about their team members as a person, not just about what they can produce.
Because they GET to: Here, team members follow their leader because they see it as a privilege to do so. This leader has found a way to connect personally and produce the direction, clarity, and support necessary for everyone to succeed. They have created an environment where the team can win individually and collectively. These leaders have people seeking them out for opportunities to work on their team. The best leaders at this level also have taken a personal interested in the development of their followers, not just so they can do their job well, but also so they can become the type of person they are meant to be. People who follow at this level will go through a wall for their leader.
It’s the leader’s job to cultivate the personal character, relational effectiveness, and ability to produce the types of results that cause people to follow them beyond “have to.”
There are times when leaders must remove team members, but that should happen after the leader takes a long, hard look at their own patterns of leadership influence.
It takes courage to question our own leadership effectiveness. It’s also your organization’s best chance for reaching its potential.
Interested in making sure you continue to grow? We are too! Schedule time with Bob to start your journey today!