5 Ways Following Will Make You a Better Leader (read it on Fast Company)
Why Read It? Because there is a lot you can learn about being a good leader by learning to be a good follower.
- Awareness:"Being a follower teaches you how to be aware of the needs of others."
- Diplomacy: "Good followers learn how to get along with those who have differences while not ignoring those differences."
- Courage: "Being a good follower means having the courage to dissent if you think your leader, manager, or superior, is doing something wrong."
- Collaboration: "Leaders who have been good followers understand how to work with people to bring out the best in them."
- Critical Thinking: "Many of the same qualities that we admire in leaders--competence, motivation, intelligence--are the same qualities that we want in the very best followers. Moreover, leaders, regardless of their level, also need to follow."
"Being a good follower doesn't make you a 'sheep.' Good followers support and aid the leader when he or she is doing the right thing, and stand up to the leader."
How to Lead When You're Not the Boss (read it on the Harvard Business Review blog)
Why Read It? To learn to put yourself in a position to lead when you are not formally in charge. These steps can be applied to virtually any project you're involved in or team or meeting you participate in.
- Establish goals: "The person who asks the question 'Can we start by clarifying our goals here?'–and who then assumes the lead in discussing and drafting those goals–is automatically taking a leadership role, whatever his or her position."
- Think systematically: "Effective leaders gather and lay out the necessary data, analyze the causes of the situation, and propose actions based on this analysis."
- Provide feedback: "One thing that's always valued is simple appreciation–'I thought you did a great job in there.'"
"Opportunities to lead aren't limited to times when you have formal authority over a particular team or venture. When you step forward and demonstrate leadership, you will contribute value to the project or enterprise–and strengthen your leadership skills."
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