Learning how to follow, helps us to better lead

Make no mistake. All of us are called to be leaders. Stop for a moment and think about who is looking for you to lead them through their lives or even a challenging moment. Are you willing to step up and if so, are you prepared to take on the responsibilities that come with being a leader?

Dave Anderson shares to be a good leader, we must first learn to be a good follower. “Before West Point expects cadets to become leaders, they train them how to be good followers. America’s leadership university designs the entire freshman (plebe) year around the idea of followership. Before you can effectively lead others, you need to understand how to be a good follower.” That way we can harken back to what it felt like to follow someone who set a positive example of what leading others looked like to you and how it may you feel. Dave goes on to say and I paraphrase, “The definition of Selflessness is putting the needs of others before our own needs, desires or convenience. When we can learn to do that as a follower, it creates a habit that will prepare us to do the same thing when we are called to lead others in the future.” Check out his character test here. https://www.becomingaleaderofcharacter.com/my-mirror-character-assessment Be honest 🙂 How did you do?

Another term for selflessness is servant heartedness. Think about how you felt when being served. Doesn’t it make you want to go out and serve others so they can be made to feel the same way? It is what I call “turning the word gratitude into a verb”. Being served by others will help us learn the impact we can have when we serve them. One lesson that is very hard to learn for one in a leadership position is asking for or accepting when offered, someone’s help. The misnomer here is that leaders are to be strong and not show a weakness or vulnerability. Nothing can be further from the truth.

Think about a beautifully wrapped present that someone wants to give to you. The present doesn’t become a gift until the person receiving it accepts it. Its purpose is left unfulfilled. My friend, Kim Farrar, says it this way. “I cannot bless you if you won’t accept what it is I am trying to give or you say how can I repay you?”

John Maxwell writes, “If you’re all alone, that means nobody is following you. And if nobody is following you, then you’re not really leading.”

Who is God calling you to lead? Even if only one person comes to mind, be the best leader you can be by finding ways to serve them well. Love and care for them as God loves and cares for you. That way you can confidently move lives forward (wink, wink, Liza Myers Borches) implementing what Dave Anderson writes about Followership. That it is a foundation to leadership. Someone who learns to be a good follower, will be more prepared to be a good leader.” There is noone better to follow first than our Lord Jesus Christ. When we do he promises in Matthew 4:19 to make you “fishers of mankind”.

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