How To Be A Great Lead Follower
You know my philosophy that everyone is a leader, but many times we forget that we have a duel role as followers as well. For order and structure someone or team of decision makers have to have the final say on decision making. So even though you are a leader, in many situations you may not have the final say on many decisions.
So how can you develop confidence in decisions that you do not have final say. I call it the power of the question. Through asking the right questions you can gain valuable insight on why decisions are being made, see the perspective of the leader or team making the decision and get a better understanding. This allows buy-in on the followers part. In my experience here are some great initial questions to ask.
What Is The Vision?
This should be asked in the early stages of joining an organization, church, business, or any endeavor. The lead person, or your immediate supervisor should be able to clearly answer this question. The answer to this question brings clarity to what the organization is wanting to accomplish. Think of it like this, when you are enrolled in college you meet with a guidance counselor and they let you know how each course is helping you achieve the goal of graduating. They may recommend you become involved in extra activities, but these activities are not helping you graduate, but helping you enjoy the experience of being in college. If a leader cannot answer this question the organization is in trouble for two reasons. Number one, without a vision, people, resources and time are wasted. Number two, a leader without a vision is blind, and you will fall into a situation of the blind leading the blind.
How Do I Fit In The Bigger Picture?
I think this is a critical question to ask. Knowing how you fit in the bigger picture will give you a sense of meaning and purpose. A recent survey of top executives stated that most executives leave a position because they don't feel a sense of meaning or connection to the organization's goals. No matter where you may work, or what department you are in, you need to know how what you do helps the company succeed. Think about a basketball team, every person evolved with the team matters. From the person recording stats to the trainer. That is why everyone receives a championship ring. I remember reading that one professional team purchased a ring for everyone in the organization, from the janitor to the the President of the organization. I always say success is a team sport.
How Can I Make Your Job Easier?
Over 80% of workers become pretty proficient at their daily task in a short while. This affords them extra time. What do must employees do with this time? Surf the web, play games on the computer or complain that there is nothing to do. How could this time be used in a better way? By asking your supervisor is there anything I can help you with. Lead Followers do not say "I'm only going to do what I get paid to do." This type of attitude cripples the entire company. You should always be thinking like a Lead Leader. So the next time you find yourself with extra time, help the organization succeed further, you just might be securing your employment .
When you ask these three essential questions, they put you in a powerful position as a Lead Follower. I know some of you are going to say, my job or organization has not created an environment for asking questions. Then the next question needs to be, how long can you be happy in an environment like that.
Dr. Will Moreland
Author, Genius Potential
America's #1 Leadership Life Trainer
P.S. Please take a moment to vote for me for Small Business Influencer Award
1/4/2013 12:58:05 am
This is a wonderful piece. Far too often we can become so excited by working with a individualt that we fail to listen to their vision. Great questions.
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Dr. Will is an author, speaker and leadership consultant....