As leaders, it’s equally important for us to know how to follow as it is how to lead. In fact, many believe to be a good leader, you must first be a great follower and continue to follow well as you continue to lead well.
I would suggest that great leaders are equally in tune with how to follow well as how to lead well. So here are a few thoughts on following:
1. Good followers are finishers. They get the job done, take projects across the finish line and make things happen on their own.
2. Good followers anticipate. They understand what needs to be done next before having to be told, and they are always looking for ways to make the process better.
3. Good followers criticize in private and praise in public. Enough said on that.
4. Good followers are trustworthy. When given an assignment, a leader can be assured it will get done. Dependability—this is incredibly important.
5. Good followers are vision copycats. They take on, embody and live out the vision and mission of their leader and of the organization, helping set and model a cultural standard.
6. Good followers make their leader better. They push their leader and know how to "lead up" appropriately and intentionally.
7. Good followers lead themselves. They don’t need to be managed and aren’t needy. They are self aware and don’t need all the attention from the leader.
8. Good followers are principled. They are humble, disciplined and have complete integrity. They know it’s not about them, and what you see is what you get.
Brad Lomenick is president and key visionary of Catalyst—a movement purposed to equip and inspire young Christian leaders through events, resources, consulting and community. Follow him on Twitter @bradlomenick, or read his personal blog at bradlomenick.com.
I AM YOUR MASTER!
I can make you rise or fall. I can work for you or against you.
I can make you a success or failure.
I control the way you feel and the way you act.
I can make you laugh... work... love.
I can make your heart sing with joy... excitement... elation...
Or I can make you wretched... dejected... morbid...
I can make you sick... listless...
I can be as a shackle... heavy... attached... burdensome...
Or I can be as the prism’s hue... dancing... bright... fleeting...
lost forever unless captured by pen or purpose.
I can be nurtured and grown to be great and beautiful...
seen by the eyes of others through action in you.
~ 1957, Bob Conklin ~
TODAY is the bridge between yesterday and tomorrow.
TODAY connects our past with our future.
Moses had led the Exodus of the children of Israel from Egypt with assurance of a brighter tomorrow. The promise concerning the future was, that God would give them a land, that flowed with milk and honey.
That was tomorrow.
But oddly enough, what God intended for their tomorrow would connect them firmly with their past. Because that land, promised for tomorrow, was the land the LORD had promised to their fathers, Abraham, Issac and Jacob, yesterday.
TODAY is always a time of transition, from the past to the future. TODAY is never ONLY about TODAY. It is unwise to live ONLY for the present. The present is simply the wilderness between Egypt and Canaan. TODAY is a journey, not the destination.
Moses needed to constantly remind Israel why they were in the wilderness. The wilderness was not the promise. It was never meant to be the promise.
TODAY is only a bridge, yet it is a bridge we all must cross.
A proper perspective of this bridge is reflected in the writing of the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 4:
"16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; 18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal."
To have a proper balance we must hold our past and future in the proper perspective and relationship. When we have yesterday and tomorrow in the right perspective, then we are more likely to live TODAY in the right way.
(Excerpt from a message preached Sunday morning, March 25 at Southern Oaks UPC)