Who doesn’t want to be a leader? The one who calls the shots – everyone would like to be able to do that. You are appreciated; you are important, and everyone respects you. You are the boss, and you have power! Sounds good, doesn’t it?
But here’s the thing… most people don’t understand that in order to become a worthy leader, they must first become good followers. Let’s take the army for example. You can’t become a general without being a soldier. Don’t get me wrong, a follower is not a sheep that gets moved around. Nowadays, followers are much more knowledgeable than before, so they choose very carefully who they follow.
If you wish to transcend the follower state, here are 6 ways in which you can prepare yourself to become a great leader:
1. Remember that You are a Leader in Training
In order to transcend the state of a follower, you should start observing more. Be aware of your peers and leaders’ actions. By observing everything around you, you will start to see the bigger picture. And this is the first step a leader-in-the-making should take. The best followers are not just followers, they are future leaders.
They already started to lead themselves, so leading others is no more an unreachable state. Keep this in mind, no title like “Chief” or “CEO” can give you any real power. It can give you authority, but that’s the weapon of a weak leader. The best and the only way to lead others is by example. In this way, you will earn the respect and love of your followers.
2. You Should Always Put the Team First
There is always one follower that is like the right hand of the leader. He is passionate about his work, and he always works hard for the benefit of his team. He understands that only through a well-oiled team can great things happen. He believes in his team and supports it. Sacrifice is what defines a great leader.
When selfishness fades, the true leader emerges. When you realize that without a team there would be no leader, you soon start caring and appreciating your followers more. A great example may be your body. Without the organs, what would be the point of a brain? So remember… your team defines you, so make sure to respect it and treat it well enough.
3. Trust Yourself When Making Decisions
A great follower doesn’t need to be told what to do; he takes the matter into his own hands and handles it with much care. In order to become a leader you must, first of all, trust your instincts. A wise man once said that you should always hire people that are smarter and wiser than you. Only in this way may your company reach greatness.
A good follower always takes the time to discuss certain problems with his leader if he believes that something is not going as planned. Courage and dedication are the qualities that a soon-to-be-leader must acquire in order to rise above his condition.
4. Follow a Vision Not a Man
Most followers have a leader, and they consider that by following him, everything will go just fine. This is far from being true. A man can make mistakes. He can even deviate from the actual course. But a Vision is like a sun. It’s always there, shining, and waiting for you to reach it.
The leader is just the rudder – and when the rudder deviates from the path, your duty as a follower is to bring it back on the right path. This is why when leaders die, their visions keep living. When the followers understand and accept the vision of the leader as their own, the team starts to move toward the goal.
The CEO of BestEssays wishes to share with us his humble opinion:
“When I first started to work in this domain of activity I had such a hard time following all my boss's’ requests. I just hated that man. After a few months, I finally understood that I shouldn’t follow or believe in my boss. I always loved the mission of the company, but I couldn’t see it until today. The man who is in charge is just a man who can make mistakes. If you really observe this, then you may begin your inner leadership journey.”
5. Know Your Team Members
Creating relationships with your team members is vital for the team to thrive. Feeling confident and relaxed is the result of great collaboration with your team. If you are new and you have a hard time meeting everybody at the same time, ask each of your employees for a one-to-one encounter.
In this way, you will feel more relaxed. You can even create a short “speech” to present yourself. The point of all of this is creating long-lasting relationships, based on mutual respect.
Remember that every single leader was once a follower. Leadership is a journey, and not a destination. When you wish to become a leader, what can be a better way than learning directly from another great leader? A true leader is someone who connects his vision to his followers and works with them to attain it. And when the leader is no more, the vision remains, and that represents his legacy.