As leaders, it’s equally important for us to know how to follow as it is how to lead. In fact, many believe to be a good leader, you must first be a great follower and continue to follow well as you continue to lead well.
I would suggest that great leaders are equally in tune with how to follow well as how to lead well. So here are a few thoughts on following:
1. Good followers are finishers. They get the job done, take projects across the finish line and make things happen on their own.
2. Good followers anticipate. They understand what needs to be done next before having to be told, and they are always looking for ways to make the process better.
3. Good followers criticize in private and praise in public. Enough said on that.
4. Good followers are trustworthy. When given an assignment, a leader can be assured it will get done. Dependability—this is incredibly important.
5. Good followers are vision copycats. They take on, embody and live out the vision and mission of their leader and of the organization, helping set and model a cultural standard.
6. Good followers make their leader better. They push their leader and know how to "lead up" appropriately and intentionally.
7. Good followers lead themselves. They don’t need to be managed and aren’t needy. They are self aware and don’t need all the attention from the leader.
8. Good followers are principled. They are humble, disciplined and have complete integrity. They know it’s not about them, and what you see is what you get.
Brad Lomenick is president and key visionary of Catalyst—a movement purposed to equip and inspire young Christian leaders through events, resources, consulting and community. Follow him on Twitter @bradlomenick, or read his personal blog at bradlomenick.com.
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