the shape of leadership


Eight keys to becoming a great follower

There’s a great deal of writing, speaking and discussion on the topic of leadership. That’s important, and I would encourage any existing or aspiring leader to learn as much about leadership as possible. Leading is hard work, and learning to lead well will pay huge dividends in whatever area God has called you to serve. Less popular is the topic of “followership.”

Followership feels less ambitious, less noble, less significant. But the truth is, that’s where all of us start. And to be honest, no matter what level of leadership you attain, you’ll never stop following. The question is this: Are you a good follower? If you don’t follow well, you probably won’t be the kind of leader people will want to follow.

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines followership as the capacity or willingness to follow a leader. Notice, there must be both capacity and willingness. One without the other will disable your ability to follow well. So, what does a good follower look like? In this issue of Make It Count, we will explore eight keys to becoming a great follower (which, in turn, will help you lead well too). We’ll cover what it means to do these things:

No matter what level of leadership you attain, you’ll never stop following.
  • Follow Christ
  • Follow your leader
  • Follow the vision
  • Follow with accountability
  • Follow as a servant leader
  • Follow as a team player
  • Follow as a hard worker
  • Follow with flux

As you read and discuss these studies with your team, it may require an extra dose of humility to help team members feel heard and valued. You want to create a good environment that fosters healthy conversations, so that everyone (leaders and followers) become more of who God wants them to be.

Good leaders make it easier to be a good follower, and good followers help leaders lead more effectively. These studies can help accomplish both.

This eight-week study, which appears in the May/June 2019 issue of Influence magazine, is now available online as a free download. Church leaders can print multiple complimentary copies of this resource and use it to promote development, spark discussion and inspire vision among team members.

The online resource also includes a fill-in-the-blank guide for team members to use as they follow along with the studies.

Adapted from the May/June 2019 edition of Influence magazine.

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