Sep 9, 2021

How to Be a Leader That People Want to Follow

Have you ever served under a leader that made it easy to follow him or her?  The kind of leader that helped you grow and flourish in your role and ministry?  A leader that cared more about you as a person than about your work?  A leader that knew the name(s) of your children and spouse and often asked how they are doing?

Let me ask you a question.  Are you the kind of leader that people want to follow?  You see, people don't follow a title or a position.  They follow someone they love and respect.

A simple way to say this is a leader who is authentic.  Authenticity is so important.  Let's look at some characteristics of an authentic leader.

Being an effective leader used to mean you were a "top-down" leader.  You barked down the orders and people were expected to follow them.  But not today.  Your volunteers want a leader who is fully engaged and committed to them and the mission.      

If you want people to follow you, you also need the ability to inspire passion and confidence in people. When you do this, a sense of teamwork and loyalty will spread among your team.  

Here a few of the characteristics of authentic leadership.

Ethics.   They follow a standard they have set for leading.  They also never compromise on what they believe to be right and wrong.

They use the right kinds of power.  Here are some examples of powers that people will follow.

  • Expert power.  This is power based on your skills, knowledge and experience.
  • Power of example.  You do what you say you are going to do.  You practice what you preach.

They have good communication skills.  They pass along values, inspiration and clear instructions.  They are also good storytellers.  They share the wins and stories of satisfied people and families.  

On the flip side, they are also good listeners.  They listen to understand.

They put others first.  One of the most outstanding characteristics of a good leader is someone who puts others first.  Rather than just looking out for themselves, they look out for the needs of others.  

We've all heard the saying and it is so true.  People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care.

People don't follow you first and foremost because of what you know.  They follow you because they respect you and who you are.

Alignment.  Their goals are aligned with the goals of the ministry as a whole.  They don't have their own agenda.  

Walk the talk.  People will follow someone who is the real deal.  Someone who practices what they preach.  Someone who leads by example.  

Are you a leader that people want to follow?  If not, you can be.  Work on the areas mentioned and measure your progress.  Over a period of time, you will see people begin to be drawn to your leadership.

More than ever, we need authentic leaders.  The kind of leaders who people want to follow.

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