Followship precedes Leadership
Leadership is a hot topic these days. Most young professionals are on a quest for significance and making an impact in the market place. There are many different avenues to increase your leadership potential through self-development like seminars, books, podcasts, and leadership groups.
A person will have a hard time increasing their leadership on their own and through your own personal development you will soon find the importance of mentorship (finding someone who has what you want in the avenue that you want it, and is willing to teach you how to get the same thing). Every great mentor is equipped to multiply themselves by being a great teacher and being able to give them the tools to duplicate the mentor. With this being said, the aspiring leader has 2 choices, the young leader can either become a prodigal or a protégé of the mentor.
A Prodigal – Desires to take from the mentor and not give back to the mentor’s purpose or vision. A prodigal on many different levels wants to beat the mentor at their own game. This person has a “what’s in it for me” attitude.
A Protégé – Desires to give back and add to the mentors over all purpose and vision. A protégé wants to follow the mentor and become a duplicate of their leader. This person has a “how can I give back because of what’s been given to me” attitude.
In the quest to become a better protégé, one topic that is often never mentioned is Followship. Followship precedes Leadership. The act of followship is in the protégés pursuit of the mentor and their quest to acquire wisdom and knowledge from their superior leader. Followship in its nature, is humbling. Followship largely depends on the protégés ability to be in submission and be in unity with their mentor. Followship does not mean you completely give up on your own dreams and only embody the dreams of your mentor, but a good follower will make their mission to give back and add to the mentor’s dreams before their own.
Most young leaders desire to have the spotlight and the stage. A lot of young leaders embody a “what’s in it for me” attitude and so their followers do the exact same thing. A prodigal leader raises up a group of prodigal followers where a protégé leader raises up a group of protégé followers. Someone’s ability to be a protégé and follow their mentor largely determines their multiplication factor of raising up other protégé followers to follow themselves.
Leadership comes in a full circle. You must ask yourself, would you want to raise up 1,000,000 people who think, act, and work just like yourself. Leadership is not always glamorous. Leading people requires you to not only lead your followers good qualities but also help them overcome their bad qualities. Many times, throughout my leadership journey I have had to self-evaluate my attitude and my hearts intentions. Keep in mind, leaders are trying to duplicate others who are a lot like themselves.
Become a great follower so you can become a great leader. Add to your mentors vision and purpose so others will add unto your own. Regulate yourself through unity and submission so others will regulate themselves the same way. Great leadership and duplication always starts with great followship.