Thursday, May 23, 2013

Become the Kind of Person Others Want to Follow

“The key to becoming an effective leader is not to focus on making other people follow, but on making yourself the kind of person they want to follow. “ Lee Cockerell

Leadership is an expression of your heart and soul. To become a leader, you need to know your higher purpose and believe in it passionately.You can develop the qualities of authenticity, empathy, curiosity, developing others and explaining the big WHY. 
As a leader you need to be fully committed to nurturing the well-being and commanding the trust of the people around you

Only in the context of a meaningful relationship can people feel empowered and inspired to demonstrate their greatest potential.

Finding your authentic self

Leaders need to feel comfortable in their own skin. It begins with the ability to explore and share one’s life story by helping people understand how we all mesh together for a meaningful journey. You intentionally begin to discover your authentic self by connecting with who you really are. Authentic leaders are not power driven but meaning driven people.

They want to explore why they are here on this earth. They want to connect to their heart and understand how to elevate their soul to help other become the best they can be. Vulnerability and humility are trademarks of the authentic leader and create a positive, beautiful energy. Customers and employees want to help an authentic person to succeed.

Why empathy is more important than ever?

A leader who has walked a mile in their follower’s shoes is more likely to inspire loyal followers.

Leaders need to find a genuine balance between the ability to share their own stories and take the time to listen to the stories of others. Leaders need to understand the people around them and how to uplift the human connection. A great way to do that is by practicing empathy.

Empathy takes a lot of emotional effort because it’s not in our nature to live another person’s story. We really have to strip away from our own personal thoughts, assumptions and evaluations of the people around us. We have to really listen hard as though we are experiencing their pain.

Good leaders take the time to listen to, and connect with followers at all levels. They demonstrate they understand and empathize with followers' concerns, values, priorities, and aspirations.

Developing others will be a priority

Leaders are also investing in one of the most significant facets of leadership today-teaching. Teaching can be very rewarding experience as we continue to develop the capacities in others. With teaching, we are taking people to a mentoring journey that hones people’s potential.

When we teach, we make a difference with our hearts and minds. We are interested in other people’s growth and capacities. We have to be committed to nurturing and planting more seeds for the next generation of leaders.

Leadership legacy involves bringing out the best in your followers. We need to create an organizational culture in which the strengths and potential of each individual are valued and recognized.

Explaining the big WHY

Leaders need to develop the big WHY As the days of command and control are over, the vision and direction of a team would be about the ability of the leader to capture the big WHY in the hearts and minds of others. People rally behind a strong vision when they know WHY they doing what they doing.

Explaining the big WHY also creates a dynamic accountability within the organization. When people understand how their roles tie into the big vision, the more of a difference they can make on a daily basis. But when people fall short of that difference, we have a compelling WHY to help them understand and hold them accountable.

Developing curiosity

Leaders will need to develop a sense of on-going curiosity to help them bridge the gap between today and tomorrow ever- changing work force and innovation. Leaders need have to embrace the unknown by being curious as global changes happen rapidly almost every day.

As more and more people join from different cultures and backgrounds, the leader would have to connect and discover new ways to establish new connections and create a harmonious organization.

Leadership will require exploring and discovering new ways of leading and serving as a whole and not only within a local community. People have found ways to communicate and build communities of practice throughout the world by being curious.


  1. Love this, "Leadership legacy involves bringing out the best in your followers."

    1. Thank you Dan. I always appreciate your feedback.

  2. This is great! Thanks for the good advice. Would love your opinion on a Blog I am writing that is similar.

    I would appreciate feedback!

    1. Thanks Dirk...are you on google+ by chance. maybe we can connect and chat on some of your ideas?