Archives For influence

Being a Good Follower

June 30, 2015

Most leadership books and teaching centers on being the top guy; the number one in the organization.

I recently read a refreshingly different perspective. Creative Followership: In the Shadow of Greatness centers on influence, while not being the top guy.

Jimmy Collins retired as the President of Chick-fil-A restaurants. He was a great leader to many. But, he knew his role was to serve the founder and chief visionary leader, Truett Cathy. Together they built a successful organization which is seen as a model for business around the world, in both style and substance.

His philosophy on leadership is different than most. Rather than considering how to be the best number one and always looking to climb the ranks, he knew he could succeed by being a successful follower.

18836994216_e5e1a7e7ea

He gives a few principles which are equally powerful for both leaders or followers.

What Breaks Your Heart?

October 2, 2014

I am blogging from Atlanta, Georgia at the Catalyst 2014 Conference. I have been asked to serve as a part of the Blogger Team at Catalyst!

Andy Stanley, Pastor of North Point Community Church and one of the best communicators out there opens up each Catalyst Conference. He read from Nehemiah 1 and asked us two questions.

Andy-Stanley CAtalyst

  1. Who are you?

  2. What breaks your heart?

Even if small, what is in you that must bring about change?

There is a correlation between leaders and change.

  • Great leaders make things better.
  • Great leaders love progress.
  • Great leaders fix broken things.
  • Great leaders don’t blame.

“Blame is the most effective change avoidance strategy.”

We, as leaders, hate to see broken things be broken. Broken hearted leaders effect change.

I had the privilege of attending the Leadercast One Day Event. Often I hear of these events and am not able to attend, instead following the play by play from different bloggers. This time, the event was simulcast in Cape Town. And to top it off, we hosted the session with one of my heroes, Bishop Desmond Tutu! More on that session later!

Andy Stanley started things off. He is hands down my favorite communicator. I would highly recommend his monthly leadership podcasts and even his weekly messages at North Point Church.

The theme of this year’s conference was “Being a Beyond You Leader.”

Andy defined this as, “Beyond You leaders are leaders who fearlessly and selflessly empower leaders around them, as well as those coming along behind them.”

One of the roles of this type of leader is to find next generation leaders and invest in them, going beyond yourself.

My first leadership experience was as an 11-year-old in Boy Scouts. As a newly christened “Assistant Patrol Leader”, I led as I had seen others leading. Experience said the way in which you led other pre-teen peers was through yelling and screaming, using all of your newly learned expletives until finally the group accomplished the task. Unfortunately my model came through watching the 12 and 13-year-old leaders!

Some leaders never outgrow this style.

They refine it, dropping the cursing, but maintaining the control and the “no questions asked” style. Hollywood promotes this style with military drill sergeants and gruff police captains.

As we grow in our leadership, we realize the limits of this style’s effectiveness. We come to understand a need to value people, not absolute obedience.

Drill sergeant discipline