By Ron Edmondson
Are you easy to follow as a leader?
I might ask – are you followable?
Followable may not be a Scrabble approved word – or even a word, but the application and the intent of the word is huge.
A followable leader has people who want to follow. See how elementary I can be?
Seriously, leaders who are easy to follow inspire people to join them on a journey and they develop loyalty from their team.
A couple of good questions to ask yourself: Do people want to follow my lead? Why would they want to follow me?
The best example I know of a followable leader is Jesus. Considering some of the reasons He was able to develop such loyalty among the people He led helps us learn why He was easy to follow.
Here are 7 qualities of an easy to follow leader:
Has a vision worth following
A leader needs a vision which lasts beyond today. There needs to be an element of faith and risk to motivate followers. The vision needs to take people somewhere they want to go, but aren’t sure how to get there. It needs to be a “bigger” reality than people are experiencing today. (Do I have to make that point for Jesus?)
Willing to lead the way
A leader who is easy to follow is willing to go first. They pave the way. (Jesus went first. He suffered first. He challenged the tired, worn out system first. Others could follow, because He led by example.)
Remains steadfast with integrity
Even through difficult days, a followable leader stays the course and keeps his or her character in tact. Followers know they can depend on the, resolve, strength and fortitude of the leader during the darkest hours. (Jesus remained sinless all the way to the Cross!)
Displays grace and patience
A followable leader extends grace and forgiveness when mistakes are made. They pace the team until the team is ready for greater challenges. They equip the team with the proper training and resources to complete assignments. (Jesus gave His disciples, and everyone He met, much grace.)
Challenges followers with high expectations
People want to follow someone who sets the bar for achievement high. There’s no intrinsic value in following easy-to-attain goals. (Jesus pushed the disciples beyond what they thought they could do. Recall Peter walking on water?)
Practices humble servanthood
To be followable, a leader should display humility and be a servant of others, especially those he or she is supposed to be leading. (Jesus washed the disciples feet.)
Places energy into others
Followable leaders consistently invest in other people. They give real authority and responsibility as they encourage and develop other leaders. They even replace themselves in key positions. (Jesus sent the disciples out and He’s left His church in our hands.)
Would you follow a leader with such qualities?
Which of these do you most need to improve upon?