How to Be a Better Leader: Be “Follow-able” Part 3

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“Don’t tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results.” — George S. Patton

This is my third post on leadership. You can read Being a Good Leader: What Does That Mean? and Are You a Good Leader? A Leadership Quiz in earlier posts.

Leaders need followers. As you think about these concepts, be aware of how “follow-able” you are. Do your team members, or others, want to follow you?

Take these easy actions to ramp up your leadership quotient quickly and be more follow-able:

1.) Picture each of your team members and ask yourself, “Does she ‘follow’ me or does she just do what I tell her to because I’m her boss?” For those who just do things because you’re in charge, make it a priority to be more follow-able with them. How can you inspire them? Ask what they need for them to feel supported, and what motivates them. Then, if you can, act on it.

2.) Create a dialog with your team members, individually. You don’t need to treat them all exactly the same, because they’re all different. Find out what will get them to stretch, then challenge them to do it.

3.) See how valuable you can become to each individual team member. You don’t even have to be that wise — you just have to listen, ask questions, and help them reach their goals.

4.) Let team members know your vision and plans for the business, and ask them how they see themselves fitting into the plan. Be realistic, but help them define their place in your business. If you can’t talk to your team members like this — you have the wrong team members.

Help them to follow you.

What if you don’t have a team? What if you’re a company of one, can you still build your leadership skills? Absolutely — the challenge will just be a bit different. Community, professional, non-profit, and networking organizations all need leaders. That leader could be you.

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