Melvyn Tan
September 15, 2013 — By tanmelvyn@gmail.com

Is a leader also a follower?

[blockquote source=”Philippians 4:13 (NIV)“]I can do all this through him who gives me strength.[/blockquote] [divider type=”thin”] To be a leader, one must have followers. That said, it is also my firm believe that in order to lead, one must be a good follower. There’s nothing wrong with being a follower, as unless we can first learn […]

[blockquote source=”Philippians 4:13 (NIV)“]I can do all this through him who gives me strength.[/blockquote]

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To be a leader, one must have followersThat said, it is also my firm believe that in order to lead, one must be a good follower.

There’s nothing wrong with being a follower, as unless we can first learn to take instructions from others, follow those instructions, execute it well; there is no chance we can become a leader.

Why is that so?

Let’s first look at the definition of “follower”. It simply means that this person is able to follow instructions, paths, ideals, and even rules in a precise manner. Of course I trust you are discerning enough to distinguish the difference between good leaders and the rest. Good in terms of moral, in terms of values, in terms of character, in terms of principles.

As we become a great student of others only then can we fully understand the behaviors, strategies, beliefs, values, and most importantly their mindset. Once we can understand all of that, and able to execute it like the masters, then we can start exploring other, better, faster, more effective, more efficient ways to reach a goal.

When we do not first even understand all of that, how can we then test the limits, explore other options, examine (re-examine) the mindsets in which the leaders held so dear.

Granted they must have experienced or understand the success formulas or they won’t be able to lead others. Besides, we are not just talking about being able to achieve goals some of the time or only when certain conditions exist. We’re talking about individuals who are able to engage (read skills) others with integrity (read principles) to consistently (read, almost always) achieve a common goal (read, not for one-self alone).

Such individuals (I certainly hope you are one, I work hard to be one each day and know that I am succeeding each day with God’s grace) are continually on this journey to become better both internally (live by those principles each day and do the best to live it despite whatever is being thrown at her) and externally (engage others with integrity – not for one-self alone and to achieve a greater goal together because succeeding alone is lonely) each day.

And with each day, if we align to the our purpose in life, whatever that might be (as long as it’s good – for definition of good, see above), we are following those principles so that we can lead.

Father I pray that my heart yearns for You and that I will follow You.  In Jesus name, Amen.