You’ve probably heard the expression, “Lead, follow, or get out of the way.”
It could also be put another way, “Don’t just stand there, do something!”
If you’re anything like me, you can’t stand inaction. I have a low tolerance for people who talk more than they act. Maybe that’s why I always say, don’t tell me what you’re going to do, just do it!
I became a leader because I wanted to get things done.
My answer to the question of “Lead, follow, or get out of the way” has always been to lead. And, if you subscribe to this email and listen to my podcast, you probably feel the same way.
I talked about this issue with Air Force veteran Mitchell Boling on the latest episode of the Deep Leadership podcast. We talked about the time he first realized he was a leader. He called it his “follow me” moment.
He relates the “follow me” moment to something like an Army Sergeant who jumps up and beckons his troops to follow him to take a hill.
In Mitch’s case, as a new team leader, he agreed to take a weekend assignment to give his team some time off but he needed someone to help him. When he asked for volunteers, every hand shot up. He said, “it gave me goosebumps.” It was at this point, he realized he was the leader and people were willing to stand up and follow him.
How about you?
Have you had a “follow me” moment yet where you realized you were the leader – where everyone looked to you for direction?
Did it humble you to know that a group of people were now depending on you to lead them effectively? Did it send chills down your spine knowing you were now responsible for the success of your team?
If you haven’t had this experience yet, you need to ask yourself – Are you really a leader or do you just have a fancy title?
As John Maxwell says, “If you think you’re leading, but no one is following, then you are only taking a walk.”“If you think you're leading, but no one is following, then you are only taking a walk.” John Maxwell Click To Tweet
If you’ve been assigned to lead people, do it. Be the leader they need, don’t just go for a walk.
If you need some ideas on how to be an effective leader, get a copy of my latest book – I Have the Watch: Becoming a Leader Worth Following. It’s filled with 23 practical ideas on how you can become a more effective leader.
[Photo credit: U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Jordan Gilbert]