Be a Good Leader by Being a Good Follower

It may seem counterintuitive, but a sign of a good leader is someone who is a good follower. It makes sense when you think about it. People who follow know the traits that make a good follower. When you know those traits, you can use them to help the people who are following you.

Leadership is about showing others the ropes. This is leading by example, and it’s one of the best ways to lead your group of people. They can never approach you and state that you don’t know what you are doing. Sometimes, getting down into the nitty-gritty of a job shows your willingness to do whatever it takes to accomplish the goals of your group.

Good followers know how to take directions. When leaders learn that skill, they can impart that wisdom to others. They can also break down goals into tasks to make managing the group that much easier. If someone who is following you is not good at directions, you will be in a better position to help them.

When followers learn how to listen, they will get the job done correctly the first time around. When leaders learn how to listen, they will take the needs of the followers into consideration. They will make the followers feel as though they had something to do with the decision. 

A leader has to learn to be aware of what is going on with the group he or she is leading. This takes keen observation skills that many managers and leaders lack. It is best to take care of a situation that you know about early, rather than letting it balloon into something unmanageable later. Followers are keen on observation. 

Followers understand the team dynamic better than anyone. In most situations, they are placed into a team, sometimes without their consent or approval. However, they learn to manage with the constraints they are given. When leaders understand this dynamic, they will have an easier time managing their followers.

A leader is more than just a person who barks out orders in hopes that everyone will blindly do as they say. Leadership requires being in line with the followers and trying to make their tasks as easy as possible. This requires leaders to become followers to the point where they can be great facilitators. It can be the source of confusion for leaders as to which role to assume. But, quality leaders learn how to adjust.