Is Anyone Following You?

“People don’t follow titles, they follow courage.” William Wells Brown

Our society today has become obsessed with titles. Climbing the corporate ladder to become a “manger” or a vice president of a department seems to be on the bucket list for most aspiring business people. Does being a vice president or even a CEO or even an owner mean you are a good leader? In order to be a leader, you must have people following you. As was stated by former speaker of the house, John Boehner, ” A leader without any followers, is simply a man taking a walk.” If you want to create followers, you must be clear on your purpose. People will not follow you because of what you are doing or your position while you do it. They will follow you because of WHY you are doing it.

If your why is to make a lot of money, then be prepared to attract greed filled, back stabbing followers. The key is to be clear on your why. No one explains this better than Simon Sinek. He stated in a TED talk that “Great companies communicate from inside out.” What he is saying is, first, lay the ground work for why you do what you do and then determine the how and what. A perfect example is Martin Luther King, Jr’s historic speech during the “March on Washington”. This was a time that we had no social media, cell phones or email. Yet 250,000 plus people knew exactly where to go and when to be there for his speech. Why was this? They didn’t show up for Martin Luther King Jr., they showed up for what he believed.

If you feel as if the people you are tasked to lead are not actually following you, just following orders, then I would suggest what I call a “Vision Day.” This is a day spent away from the office and with you sharing with your team your why. Allow them to ask questions and open up about the answers. If they understand and believe your why as much as you do, that just increases the number of people driving toward the same goal.


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