Who Leads The Leaders?

What is it to be a leader? Why do people follow leaders? Why do (or would) people follow you?

It has become accepted in today’s business world that ‘managers’, ‘heads of…’ and ‘directors’ by dint of being in such a titled role are also required to be ‘leaders’.

Having observed, worked with, coached, facilitated and trained many of this population in aspects of leadership, I have been lucky enough to notice many styles and methods. What works and also what doesn’t and perhaps the most curious leadership dichotomy – the true art of leadership is to be a follower!

True following exists where it is about something much, much bigger than you, bigger than your balanced scorecard, bigger than this year’s targets, bigger even than the five year business plan.

Your teams can be managed, encouraged, motivated and even inspired to get behind these but history has abundantly and repeatedly revealed to us that people don’t purely follow the leader, they follow a leader that in themselves is following or is in pursuit of something greater than themselves and often greater than the environment and circumstance in which they currently operate. It then goes beyond your style or your techniques and displays incredible resistance to challenging times and is less dependent on you being the positive energy engine every day to keep them on course. You are then nurturing attitudes and creating the culture.

People can get behind the motivating focus-factors like a season-goal or even a 5 year business plan but without the greater purpose that lies way ahead they can get lost, morale drops and they are vulnerable to changes in market circumstances.

Most organisations and leaders I work with agree that you cannot be appointed to a leadership role and just expect followers. Constantly upgrading your own behaviour and skills is always important and valuable but to do so in the hope that you become more attractive to potential followers is misguided and futile. Yes you can become a better leader but only by having an authenticity that reflects your values and the authentic you.

·         What are you excited by?

·         What do you want to change or cause or effect?

·         What impact do you want to have and leave on the market / the environment / communities / the world?

Find your passion, invest more time in discovery than perhaps you might otherwise have. Find that compelling intention; unravel your dreams; put more effort into the non-urgent explorations; meet people; go to your edge; attend events connected to your interests; get in dialogue to discover; and find what truly, madly, deeply inspires and leads you.

Only then will we decide if you are someone we want to follow toward that dream.

And, of course, keep it simple!


Work with me or one of my associate coaches to find your passion. Equally, we could work together to shift the attitudes and culture of your team to enhance performance.