Leading and Following

If you want to lead the people, you must learn how to follow them.

Verse #66 from the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu

People understand the value of a great leader. They understand how things can be changed and shifted when a good leader shapes a country, corporation or team. Most people will recognize a leader when they experience one. Great leaders make leading look easy. They make leading people seem like the most natural thing in the world. A great leader makes it seem like anyone could be a leader. Everyone wants to be a leader.

If all you had in this world were leaders, very little would get done. They would be so busy attempting to lead everyone that no one would actually do anything.We always talk about the value of a great leader and what that person will offer. It is rare that we mention the power and value of following. If there are not any followers than there can be nothing to lead. The followers are the ones that execute the plan. They are the ones that make it happen. They are the ones that change the world. The leader can give directions and vision. They can’t get it all done by themselves. Leaders need followers as much as followers need leaders. It is a very symbiotic relationship.

Before anyone can be a great leader they must understand the value of the followers. They themselves must have been, at one time, a follower. Without understanding the whys and the motivation of being a follower, a great leader will never be great. The plans and the vision will go unmade as the leader wonders why they can’t get followers. If you want to be a great leader, find a person who is leading a cause you believe and follow them. Commit to being the best follower you can be. Look at how this person leads and whether their leadership is effective. Is this leader getting the things done that they said they will? Are you, as a follower, invested in the outcome? It is the leader’s job to see that you are. Do you understand the reasons and goals of what you are doing? It is the leader’s job to see that you are. Invest yourself in the value of following to see the power of leading.

In Love and Light


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