“Either lead, follow, or get out of the way.” ~ Thomas Paine
The right sidebar on my home page features a widget that says simply, “Come Along.”
It’s an invitation to anyone who comes across this site to subscribe to my blog posts by e-mail and become a “follower” of sorts. In the four months I’ve been blogging on wordpress.com my blog’s had about 5,500 hits with about 100 followers.
For any blogger, it’s an honor when his/her post is read. Without readers i.e. “followers” it would all be for nothing. There’s something instilled in all of us to be leaders. But what of the followers?
Is leadership overglorified?
Generally, I think we’d all agree the goal of every leader is, in some form, to create a movement. Something with momentum. Something, that somehow, creates its own synergy.
Aside from vision, leaders must have guts, they must be vulnerable, but most of all they must be easy to follow.
You see, the followers are the key, and the most important aspect of any movement.
A leader without followers stands amidst nothingness but hope. And true leaders don’t hope, they lead with magnetism. Leaders nurture their first followers as equals. Again, they make themselves easy to follow.
In creating the original greatest movement, Jesus said, “Follow me” 23 times in the New Testament. Without his inner circle and the “followship” of Peter, James and John, Jesus would have had a more significant challenge on his hands in taking the Christian movement forward. The three original followers simply dropped their nets and followed him.
So what of the follower and his/her importance in the movement?
Simply this: If the leader is the flint, the first follower is the “spark” to the fire.
“Followship” may be the most under-appreciated form of leadership.
When a leader publicly shows the first follower “how to follow,” it’s no longer about him or her, it’s about them.
A crowd is a movement, and a movement is news … and news has legs, and it takes many legs to sustain a movement.
For a great example, take a look at this video, simply titled: First Follower – and you’ll get the point.[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fW8amMCVAJQ]
I’m not a huge music video buff, but the one video I carry on my phone is a Nickleback video titled, “If Everyone Cared.” This video carries an incredible message on movement leadership, and it’s my all-time favorite.[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-IUSZyjiYuY]
Just for the record, a great read on movement leadership is Malcom Gladwell‘s, The Tipping Point.
The next time you think about creating a movement, think first to who might follow – and embrace them.
You can check out today’s post on my secondary blog at: http://wp.me/p2tJ80-16