In the next four Influential Leadership tips, we will cover the “Four Tests of A Leader.” Take inventory of these four items so that your followers will know without a shadow of a doubt why they are following you.
“Why Should I Follow You?”
Are you professional who knows your success depends upon leading other professionals? Maybe you lead a consulting practice group, a division in your company, a sales team, or employees of your own business. In any case, winning the power to lead others is no easy task and must be earned.
You must meet some stringent criteria before you can obtain effective influence. Your potential followers are sure to be asking the question: “Why should I follow you?” According to David H. Maister, author of the book True Professionalism, four tests must be met for a leader to answer this question.
Test #1: Motives
A follower will only accept your influence and direction if you give them evidence that you’re primarily committed to the success of the group, rather than your own success. Your primary task as leader is helping others succeed. If a follower doesn’t trust your motives, nothing else will matter because the most important thing is your integrity.
How do you convince a follower that your motives are good? Simply put – your actions will speak more loudly than your words:
- Do you make it a habit of helping others on the team in terms of time, support and ideas – even when there were no immediate benefits to you?
- Are there examples where you put another’s interests first?
- What’s your track record as a team player? Do you keep everyone in the group informed? Do you take the time to teach and coach?
Massive Action Step
Reflect on your motives as a leader this week. Do something each day that helps one of your follower’s succeed. Comment here on what happens.
Watch next week for Test#2 of what you must do to be seen as a true leader.
(Contributed by David Miller.)