How to be a Leader Worth Following

Leaders exist all over.  In our work world, we call them Boss or Supervisor.  On a sports team, we refer to them as Coach.  In the Church, we label them as Pastor.  In the home, we call them Mom and Dad.  Most of us can rise to a position of leader in some arena of life.  The question we should ask is not “how do I become a leader” but rather “how do I become a leader worth following?

Given enough time you could likely write out a list of all the people you have encountered over the years who held some form of a leadership position. Some of them led in such a way that they would illicit a desire to follow them.  Others led in such a way that you would rather run and hide.

So how do you become a leader worth following?  Here are 6 simple thoughts on being a leader worth following:

  1. Care about People over Position – Many of us have healthy ambition – it just has to stay healthy. To be a leader worth following use your position to care for people, do not use people to take care of your position.
  2. Consider how You Might Serve, not how Others Might Serve You – Leaders help people chase a vision, and they find ways to serve the people as they pursue the vision. They lift the people up to chase vision.  We mess this up when we consider how the people are serving me as the leader. If the people are focused on serving the leader instead of serving the vision something has broken down.
  3. Make Your Investment About Their Betterment – As the leader you invest time in the people you lead. The most wise and fruitful investment of your time comes when you focus on making the person in front of you better than they were before.
  4. Value Progress over Perfection – None of us are perfect. When you serve in an environment that requires perfection morale is sure to drop – because everyone knows they fall short of perfection.  Our goal for the people we lead cannot be perfection, but rather consistent progress.  Talk about moving in the right direction, discuss things such as pace or speed.  Help people gain progress today, and help them find ways to gain a little more tomorrow.
  5. Paint a Picture of a Better Tomorrow – Leaders are dealers in hope. Give the people you lead a picture or vision of the future that will fuel their hearts for today.  When people know their effort today can create a better tomorrow it is amazing what they can do.
  6. Know the Source of your Leadership – All human authority is delegated authority. When a leader stays aware of the fact that their leadership is an entrustment it draws people in.  It is our confidence in the One who imparts authority to us that give us great credibility for those we lead.

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