From Control to Empowerment: Making the Shift from Leading Followers to Leading Leaders
John Maxwell, a respected American author and speaker on leadership draws a distinction between leaders who lead followers and leaders who lead leaders.
Leaders who Lead Followers
Leaders who lead followers tend to focus on getting their followers to do what they want them to do.
They provide direction, set expectations, and hold their followers accountable for their actions.
Leaders who lead followers ADD to an organization.
If you lead 5 followers, you add 5 units of production to the company.
This is where most people start their journey as leaders – and many don’t go beyond this stage of leadership.
However, leaders who lead followers are limited in their ability to scale their impact because they are dependent on their followers to achieve their goals.
Leaders who Lead Leaders
On the other hand, leaders who lead leaders focus on developing the leadership skills of their followers.
They empower their followers to take ownership of their work and to become leaders in their own right.
This approach allows leaders to magnify their impact because they are developing a team of leaders who can help them to achieve their goals.
Leaders who lead leaders MULTIPLY their impact.
If you lead 5 leaders – and each of those leaders leads 5 followers – your impact is extended to 25 units of production.
And if you then mentor those leaders to become leaders who also lead leaders, your impact becomes exponential.
Leaders who lead leaders need a different mindset than leaders who lead followers.
They must be willing to let go of control and trust their team members to make decisions and take action.
They also need to be willing to invest in the development of their team members and to help them to become the best leaders they can be.
Leaders who lead leaders tend to have a longer-term perspective than leaders who lead followers.
They are focused on building a sustainable organization that will thrive long after they are gone.
They understand that their success is measured not only by what they achieve in the short-term, but also by the legacy they leave behind.
What kind of leader are YOU?
Leadership is a growth journey.
Leaders go through these stages:
- Leaders who lead followers. This is the first stage.
- Leaders who train or mentor other leaders to become leaders of followers. This is the second stage.
- Leaders who lead leaders. These leaders mentor and support their leaders to become leaders who lead leaders. This is the advanced stage that separates the great leaders from those who are merely good.
Where are you in your leadership journey?
Here’s a quick self-assessment:
What kind of leader do you aspire to be?
At the Alliance, we offer leadership training and executive coaching programs to help our clients become leaders who lead leaders.
They in turn create a team of leaders who are aligned with the company’s vision, mission, and purpose and who are committed to achieving their goals.
This allows them to move their family business into the Prosperity Zone and create a legacy that can last for generations.
If you’d like to join them, the first step is to book a complimentary and confidential call with one of our advisors: book a call.
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