From: One of Your Followers
As one of the many people who “follow” you, I thought you might be interested in knowing why.
Let’s start with the reasons that don’t apply.
I don’t follow you because I have to. Oh, I might tag along for a while if I thought it was in my best interest to follow you but trust me – that’s not about you, that’s about me.
I might follow you – temporarily – if I was afraid of you or what you could do to me for not towing the line.
But let me be perfectly honest. If I followed you because I feared you, I’d soon be looking for ways to sabotage you. I’m very clever and I’d find a way.
- Maybe I’d “forget” to pass along some key information.
- Maybe I’d pull an “Eddie Haskell” from Leave It to Beaver and act one way when I know you’re looking, and another when I know you’re not.
- I might even engage in malicious compliance by strictly follow your orders knowing that by doing so, there will be damage to your reputation or the business of the organization.
So I don’t follow you because I have to. I follow you because I want to.
You’re a terrific leader. You have many fine qualities that I admire. I will admit that there are times when I want to be you – you’re that good. But there are four important things that you bring to the table that makes me want to jump off the bridge for you, if you were to ask:
- You have this way of imagining the possible future we could create, if we worked together. It’s compelling – this “promised land” you talk about. It differs so sharply from what we have today. I can’t wait to get there.
- You put things in simple language I can not just understand, but recall instantly. It’s a complicated world out there, but when you talk about where we’re going, you boil it down to one or two things – and they’re compelling.
- You have integrity. I know that you stand behind your word. I know you’ll be honest with me – even when it’s awkward or uncomfortable. You’re authentic and transparent. You don’t act one way in front of me and another when I’m not around.
- Last, but not least, you’re contagious. You’re enthusiastic, passionate and engaged. You’re trying to make the world a better place, and you want to make a difference. It’s impossible to be around you without catching your positive energy.
That’s why I follow you.
That’s why I’ll follow you even though you make mistakes, you stumble now and then, you make a rash decision, or you have a bad day. You’re human, and because over time you prove to be a genuine leader, I will remain one of your followers.
I just thought you might like to know why.