Follow the leader

Dec 5, 2012

We’re all leaders and all followers at some level or another. There are formal leaders defined by their title or rank and there are informal leaders who people turn to when they need results or answers. The informal leaders in an organization can be every bit as powerful as the formal leaders when in fact they are defined as followers in the organization chart.

It’s important to know (and accept) that there will always be forums, tasks or processes at which you are not the leader in the office. In those cases, let someone else lead, shine and pay attention, so you can learn something new or improve in an area that's not your strong suit. It's important to continually build your skill-set including leadership.

Employers should do everything they can to identify and bring out the unique leadership capabilities in each team member. Find out who they really are and tap into their potential. In turn, each employee should learn how to stand tall, speak up and take charge. This will help them to grow into their specific leadership role - the role they are meant to fulfill in the company to become invaluable!

Employers should help their staff members to learn their strengths and weaknesses to optimize their talents and abilities to lead in their own way. Employees should demonstrate (with humility) how and where they can lead, and know when to step aside to be led by another with stronger skills in a particular area. Employees (and management) should be honest with themselves and team members about who is better at what, who should lead when, and how each can help others to improve.

The military practices the buddy system. Never leave your buddy behind. Help him over the wall. Employees should help each other. Management should help them to help each other. The military developed the buddy system over a 200-year period. We’re human. Help each other. It works!

Mercy Mildener
Public Relations and Marketing Consultant

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