Great Leaders Aren’t Perfect
Great teams are usually made up of a group of great leaders. A great team of leaders, when working effectively, can do remarkable things.
I’ve also experienced when a group of great leaders can become a colossal disaster together. Slow, redundant, ineffective, bureaucratic, argumentative, territorial – if there is a negative adjective you would use to describe a team, it probably fits.
When to Lead and When to Follow
The danger for all great leaders is not learning how to follow. Not every leader leads all the time. You have to follow too.
That’s distinctive of a great team – their team members have learned the art of following. While they are all exceptional leaders, they know when it’s their time to lead and when it’s their time to follow.
Avoid Becoming the Notorious Holdout
Why is following so hard for us? Following implies submission, and often we leaders allow our pride to keep us from submitting to each other.
In team situations, there will be times when you need to submit to the direction of another leader, even if you would handle the problem differently. I see this all the time in teams.
Prevent a Head-On Collision
Imagine a team member who is responsible for a division, develops a plan, and begins leading his team through the project. Then another leader chimes in and suggests a different way to approach the situation. What would you do? Would you be a leader or a follower?
Too often, I see teams paralyzed because leaders are chiming in with their opinions on issues. There is a time for feedback, and there’s a time to get out of the way.
If You’re the Holdout, You May Be Holding Things Up
Watch for the temptation to always have the last word or to hold onto a conversation until the decision feels more in line with how you would do it. While voicing your concerns are appropriate and helpful, once you’ve shared your thoughts, let the responsible person lead without added resistance. By doing this, you will reap the often overlooked benefit. You will become an exceptional leader who never forgets how to follow.
Keep leading well.
Jenni Catron and The 4Sight Group
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As leaders, we’re full of ideas and initiatives. We see potential and opportunity all around. We can almost taste the outcome, but often we get bogged down by how we’ll get from here to there.
The “how” can be overwhelming and discouraging, so we give up on our goals or fail to build a plan to help us achieve them.
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Jenni Catron is a writer, speaker, and leadership coach who consults churches and non-profits to help them lead from their extraordinary best. She speaks at conferences and churches nationwide, seeking to help others develop their leadership gifts and lead confidently. As Founder and CEO of The 4Sight Group, she consults with individuals and teams on leadership and organizational health.
Jenni is the author of several books, including Clout: Discover and Unleash Your God-Given Influence and The 4 Dimensions of Extraordinary Leadership.