Leadership is not bestowed–it is yours only as long as it is continuously earned.
B. J. Marshall
Have you looked behind you to see if your team members are still following you?
When your organization assigns you the responsibility of leading a change effort, it’s easy to get focused on the management part of change (making it happen) and forget the leadership part of change (getting others to want to follow you).
Before you go too far however with planning, organizing, and executing your change effort, take a look behind you!
Is anyone truly following you?
Or, are too many people just giving you lip service and paying attention to you when you are around and then doing what they want to do when you are away?
Before you can manage a change effort, you have to lead it. And, to lead it, you have to have a group of committed employees who are willing to follow you!
Change and leadership are interconnected and leadership means little without followership.
What is Followership?
Followership is the willingness of your team of employees to accept your direction.
Leadership and followership go together!
As a leader, you want the cooperation of your team members.
You need them to believe — as you do — that your vision for the team is something worth working towards. You need them to feel some ownership.
If they do, they will help you to reach your goals even when things get tough in your organization.
To gain followership, you’ll need to fulfill certain requirements for your team of employees.
Your team must share your vision of where you want to go to follow your direction. If they don’t see the value of what you want to do, then they will not be committed to your goals.
Your team of employees must see you as a credible leader. If they do not see you as someone who lives by what they say, then they will view your actions and words about change with suspicion.
Your team must see you as competent. If they do not see you as able to build the support for change and execute it in your organization, then they will withhold their full support.
If you don’t have followership, your work as a change leader becomes much more difficult.Leadership is earned not given! Click To Tweet
You can rightfully say that your team has to change to keep their jobs. Yes, I know they want to keep their jobs. But, believe me if your team members do not want to follow you, they can make your job — a living hell.
How Do You Become a Leader?
You have to earn that position by what you say and do.
You’ll have to show your employees why change is needed and desirable.
You’ll have to show them that you are a credible leader that they can follow by having integrity. You’ll have to show them that you not only know where you are going but you know how to get there.
Before you can manage your change effort, you have to lead it. Before you can be a leader, you have to earn it.
The truth is that your organization can make you a manager, but they cannot make you a leader. Only you can do that!