Leaders need followers. But do the followers need leaders?
What is it that leaders offer their followers?
There are leaders who blaze a path to make it easier for followers to get to a destination.
But there are also people who want to be leaders so that they can have the power. Usually the power they want is to get things done or to make a difference but sometimes, they want the positional power for the glory and honor that it brings.
Identifying a Leader:
- A person with vision who wants to solve a problem or make a difference to a specific situation
- A person who has the passion and ability to enroll others to make a difference
- A person who wants more for others than for themselves.
What is Power
- There is power that gets jobs done.
- There is power that gives energy to other things to get things done.
- And there is power that makes others obey or submit to the will of another. This is often seen as power over others.
While there are other types of power, the last one causes more people challenges. There are many stories of how people submitted to evil people and did unmentionable things. Sometimes the person they submit to is called a bully, sometimes they are called a tyrant or a monster.
But the purpose of the power is to get something either done or done for them.
We want to believe that leaders are always good and that good leaders will take care of us. We put people into positions where the power they wield allows them to push boundaries and limits to get the job done. But history teaches us that there are lots of leaders who abuse others, torture. maim and kill any who disagree with them. There are corporate leaders who rule by terror.
Recently articles and books suggest that managers get the job done and leaders take people on a journey. Somehow the people are self motivated to get the job done because they either love or fear the leader.
Is this true?
Do people follow out of love or fear?
Do leaders cajole, push or cause to happen the things that get the job done?
Do leaders use devotion and suggest that a certain behavior or action would please them or do they use force to say that if you trust me you will act in a certain way?
Keep in mind that the leader makes the decisions. The leader after consulting, listening and paying attention, decides what happens next.
We believe that the leader knows best and we accept that the leader must be right. And is easier for many people to just accept that “rightness”
Power over is something that means control of others. When we see it in certain situations, we believe it is bad, like a mother keeping her son in a closet or a man brutalizing a girl for years in his basement, but what about a boss whose standards keep people working 60 to 70 hour weeks in crowded conditions?
And what about decisions voted on without thought because the “leader” says to vote this way or that and you never consider alternates because if you did then you would have to do something different.
You as a Leader
When you find yourself in a leadership position, consider what you do to get the job done. And every leader I have ever known, read and studied, always had a job to do whether it was win a war (Churchill), free a nation (Ghandi) or just win an election (Obama) to stop a war.
Watch how the power affects you.
Do you feel invincible or do you realize the responsibility you hold and have?
Do you recognize that there will be followers who merely follow you because it is easier to follow than think?
Will you keep aware and inform your followers of all sides about your reasons for the decisions you make?
Or will you use your power to quickly get the job done and walk away?
Remember as the owner of a business, you are the leader of that business.
What you say within the business is what will happen because your staff, followers, want to keep their job. Getting the job done will be the result of the power of leadership within your company.
What are your thoughts on this topic?
Passionate, Purposeful Performer.