Do the followers make the leader?

By |Published On: December 5, 2011|

Associations, Volunteerism and More…that’s the title of this blog. But truth is, most of the time it’s about leadership. Through this blog, I have tried to initiate discussions of the characteristics of great leaders and show examples of both good and bad leaders. I like exploring leadership with you. I like it even better when something written in this blog strikes a chord with you and you comment about it.

I read an interesting article today about leadership. I’d like to share it with you. (Click here to read it)

In the article, the author explores the makings of a good leader by providing three examples from the world of sports (something I enjoy).  Her thesis is interesting – there are many qualities and characteristics we all look to find in great leaders.  But the most important one is hardly ever mentioned – the followers.  What makes a great leaders is the willingness of the followers to let that person lead.

Her example of a current great leader (probably by just about any definition) is Tim Tebow.  Tebow is the inexperienced, and under-qualified quarterback of the Denver Bronco’s who has led his team to five straight victories.  Tebow’s teammates seem willing to follow him anywhere!

Of course followers won’t let just anyone lead them.  Leaders must demonstrate they have integrity, confidence, clarity and decision-making abilities.  They must earn the trust of their followers.  All great and sustainable leaders have earned and maintained the trust of their followers.

Certainly people cannot become leaders without the characteristics necessary to earn that trust.  However, no matter what abilities a leader has, if he doesn’t have followers, he isn’t a leader.

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