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Monday, June 17, 2013

Earning Followership

I read some advice about how to lead after being assigned or awarded a team. The advice was all about being nice and respectful and mature, and hardworking, brave, clean, loyal, reverent, and... all good, I guess.

But people who are assigned or awarded a team aren’t leaders. They are people who have been assigned or awarded a team.

Try this: The job of a leader is to earn followers. Leadership is the actions that earn followers.

I see a lot of people floating over a team trying to outperform team members. That usually leads to an Emily Litella moment, when they realize they maybe didn’t fully grasp what good is.

Other LTG’s create new mission and vision for their group. “At last, we can do it MY way!” Mission and vision come from listening to customers. Winning is harder when you lack real customers.

Best practices are blatantly obvious or they are not best practices.

Leading is not competing with your team. Leading is not changing the rules unilaterally. Leading is taking actions every day that benefit the led, make them more productive, secure, and knowledgeable.

That’s a tough model, because usually the easy stuff was done a long time ago.

The path is constantly learning better what needs to be done, what is changing, and how to get better results easier. By the end of the first week, that gets hard.

On the other hand, of course that’s hard! If it was easy they would have given it to somebody else!

Sales Lab Handouts – You’re giving this away?
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