Gary Winters

Coach  Workshop Facilitator Author

An Open Letter: Why I Follow You

To: My Leader

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

“What ELSE Your Boss Never Told You” is the sequel to the very popular “What Your Boss Never Told You.” Packed inside are more tips, techniques, and insights about the challenging, but rewarding leadership position.

“What ELSE Your Boss Never Told You” is written in a conversational tone, as though you and the author were enjoying a cup of coffee and talking about the issues that emerge for new leaders. It stands alone, and/or could be read before or after the first volume, “What Your Boss Never Told You.” You can start with any chapter and read in any order you like.

if you search for a book on management, you’ll find a staggering 600,000+ books currently available. How can you narrow that down? “What Your Boss Never Told You” is the best place to start.

No textbook here – this book is short and sweet. It’s designed to help you “unpack” your new job and be effective from the first day with your new team. It contains twenty-one chapters filled with the wisdom Winters has gathered from real managers – effective, successful leaders in organizations much like yours.

Leaders make decisions every day – big and small. Most know that if they include others in the decision-making process, the quality of those decisions – and the commitment to them – will likely improve. That said, they also know it’s impractical, if not impossible, to include others in every decision they confront.

“To Do or Not To Do” tackles the question of when to make decisions on your own, and when to involve your team. It gives you a deceptively simple but proven method to determine, when you are facing a difficult decision, how to decide how to decide.

Far too many meetings are dreadful, mind-numbing, energy-draining, productivity-sapping, colossal wastes of time. As someone once said, “To kill time, a meeting is the perfect weapon.”

Here’s the deal: if you’re willing to learn and apply the techniques in “So, How Was Your Meeting?”, you’ll call fewer meetings, while vastly improving the ones you do lead. They’ll take less time, have more balanced participation, produce better decisions, and result in concrete action items for follow-up afterwards.

While there are thousands of books written for people about to retire, this may be the only book for people who manage soon-to-retire employees. Written in a casual, conversational style, “Managing the Soon To Retire Employee” will give you everything you need to know to move forward with confidence and grace.

You can be successful with Sooners. It won’t happen by chance, and it’s not a matter of pulling some management “trick” out of your hat. But you can learn how to do it, and you can apply what you’ve learned right away.

Managing friends or former peers can be awkward. When you become the boss, everything about these relationships can suddenly be uncomfortable. There’s a new set of ground rules to establish – as manager, you are going be accountable for the work performance of friends or former co-workers on the team, and they are going to have to adjust to the fact that they now report to you. Everyone involved can feel awkward and hesitant about the future. 

Have you been approached by management with an offer to promote you to supervision? Or, are you mulling over the possibility for the future? Find yourself not sure whether to accept the promotion?

If so, you’ve come to the right place. Help! They Want to Make ME a Supervisor will help you sort out a very big question: Should you accept the offer to become a supervisor? Once you’ve read this book, you’ll be confident that you’ve made the best decision for you and for your organization.