I know you must be looking at my topic and going like, uuuummm… Yes, I meant that.
We are in such a world that focuses so much on great leadership-being a great leader. Great books have been written, lectures on leadership given, perfect quotes like one of my best; “Every problem rises and falls on leadership”. Now as much as this is all great, in fact so perfect, we need to realize that this is a biased equation.
Did I say this right? YES, A BIASED EQUATION.
Just like an equation, there is no leadership without following. James C. Georges defines leadership as the “Ability to obtain followers”. And yes, precisely, that is what leadership is.
I have spent so much of my time studying and trying to understand how best I can be a great leader. Credit goes to the amazing teachers and authors on leadership.
On a flip side, however, most of these studies have failed to look at the part of “Obtaining followers”. As James, in the definition above, defines leadership, it is the ability to obtain followers. Most leadership trainers stop only at focusing on training the leader to have that “ability to obtain”. The challenge is that they miss the key part of the followers. Who do we obtain? Should we obtain everyone who comes?
There are so many leaders out there who are great-actually very great- but are being frustrated by the fact that they have the wrong followers.
The leadership these days is so inclined to having quantity of followers and not quality of followers.
It is important to note that “Who follows you will determine how you lead”.
In the Christian arena, Jesus Christ is a perfect example of a great leader. The gospels detail how Jesus selectively chose his followers (disciples) and what influence these had on His leadership for His time of ministry. A great leader is one who sensitively determines who follows him/her. Just as no follower wants to have a bad leader, no leader should be able to have a ‘bad’ follower.
The analogy of a magnet and a magnetic field relates to leadership and a good leader. A magnet will attract anything in it’s magnetic field as long as its of a material that is attractable. The challenge with these materials is that some of these materials contribute towards the wearing down of the magnetism. It is the same with great leaders; their influence will draw so many people to them, but if they are not sensitive enough to who is drawn to them, they will lose their quality leadership and influence.
There are so many people who will follow a leader because of his/her great influence but if such people fail to buy into the vision of that leader, they may rather just bring the leader down.
As a leader, you need to be in position to distinct these kinds of followers.
Again, this is the same reason why Christ restricted His close following to 12. As a leader, you need to know what capacity you can take in as a following and not compromise your leadership.
We are in a world where leadership is equated to numbers but a husband who leads his wife perfectly is a leader; a single mum who leads her only child is a great leader.
Hey, your leadership could be any number. Stop carrying many wearisome followers in the name of being a “number leader”.
It is time for you to check your following; it is time for you to stop leading the wrong people right!