Teach & Serve III, No. 18 – There Are No Leaders Without Followers
December 6, 2017
Our work reaches beyond us. It reaches through time. It reaches into the future.
If you are reading this blog, you are likely a school leader, a teacher or administrator. A further supposition is if you are reading this blog (and you are not my mother – Hi, Mom!), you are reading this blog because you think about your leadership, you reflect upon what you do and why you do it and it is also likely that you hope to improve.
Thinking about and reflecting upon our roles as leaders is a necessary part of our improvement process but we have to be careful not to simply think about what we do and how we do it. To be the best leaders we can be, we should spend a great deal of time considering those we lead.
A good leader understands that establishing rapport with those who are being led is a critical and necessary step in creating an environment wherein a leader can effectively serve. In order to foster legitimate rapport, a leader must establish community, interplay and trust with those being led.
A mistake that average leaders make is to assume that their position ensures that those being led will follow, that the title they hold is enough to inspire fealty, that the role they play is sufficient to get those being led to fall in line.
If that is you, good luck. You may well be able to drag people along with you because you are The Leader, but the experience of those you lead will be painful and they will not have loyalty to you but only loyalty to what you represent – to your position.
Excellent leaders understand this. Moreover, they would be concerned if they are followed simply because of their title or their position on the work chart. Leaders I wish to follow know that who they lead is at least as important as how they lead.
Understanding this is part of how they became excellent leaders in the first place.