Leadership, by definition, is also about followers and why we follow. Followers display the characteristics of their leaders. If the leader is ‘dedicated/hardworking/trustworthy/determined/loyal’ then so will be their followers. Today one of the great management complaints is the lack of dedication, trustworthiness, loyalty and determination of the current generation (choose a letter of your choice from the available alphabet to decide which generation to lament).
I wonder what’s going on. More to the point, I wonder which came first. Was it the lack of motivated followers in our organizations? Or was it the lack of leadership attributes worth following in our organizations?
Organizations exist for only one reason: they exist to fulfill a purpose. What that purpose is differs from organization to organization, of course, but each organization has a purpose that drives its existence. Organizations require ‘followers’ in the form of employees who work together to achieve that purpose. But if we ask our employees what their purpose is, would the responses we collect display the same consistency and clarity as would the responses from a room full of Terry Fox followers? Gandhi followers? MLK followers?
We tend to think about leadership in terms of individuals. We forget that organizations must also demonstrate leadership traits if we are to reasonably expect our employees – followers all – to exhibit any of the qualities of loyalty, dedication, hard work or determination.
Leadership isn’t an idle topic. It’s a vital area of emphasis for every organization. Without leadership, we’re not making progress, we’re merely marking time.
Join Peter de Jager for a presentation that is designed to provoke some deeper thinking about leadership in tough times.
As always, spread the word to those who might be interested in this webinar. You’re welcome to point entire associations, companies and small countries to these links. You would be doing us a favour if you did pass this note around a little bit.
This webinar series is a de Jager & Co and Interthink Consulting production.
Join us on 24 November 2015: