True leaders create leaders, not followers

Some people believe that leaders need followers. We disagree. 

We believe that:

True leaders create leaders, not followers.

When times are stable, aligning the organisation around the vision of one person or a small leadership team brings focus and momentum. It turns the organisation into a supertanker, with all its resources heading in the same direction, at the same speed, and all can be controlled by a single hand on the wheel.

But when times are churning, the ability to adapt becomes paramount. 

Then an organisation filled only with followers finds its capacity for change is limited to the capacity of its leader. A leader who creates only followers becomes a bottleneck.

But a leader who creates more leaders increases the ability of every person to handle change. A leader who becomes antifragile, and who makes their people antifragile, makes the whole organisation antifragile: able to use change to become stronger.

This transforms the organisation from a supertanker into a fleet of speedboats: able to dodge and swerve to adapt to the changes that are coming, pushed forward by their own inspiration and enthusiasm.

Do the people you work with encourage people to become leaders or followers? Which do you encourage? Six months from now do you want to be surrounded by people who use change to become stronger or followers? What actions are you taking to achieve that?

Adapted from Inner Leadership: a framework and tools for building inspiration in times of change.

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(And remember: you don’t learn to swim by reading about swimming, you also need to practice.)

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