One of my favorite quotes related to leadership is from John Maxwell in his book Be A People Person, ” He who thinketh he leadeth and hath no one following him is only taking a walk” (p. 65). How many of us have known people who were in a leadership position but for one reason or another, no one followed them? How many companies, or departments, today are in a situation like this?

To me, leadership is not about power or control, leadership is about servitude. Leaders serve both the company and the people who work for them. In order to accomplish what needs to get accomplished each day so that the company can succeed, leaders need to have people willing to follow them. And employees will only follow a person who is truly interested in their success. Have you ever worked for someone who you knew was mentoring you and motivating you to rise to a higher level? Wouldn’t you have gone above and beyond the call in order to do for that person? That’s what leadership is all about: focusing on the success of the people in your team or department while also focusing on the success of the projects in your charge and the company as a whole.

When an employee knows that their boss is truly interested in them, both personally and professionally, and in the success of their career, they will follow that leader. But to be truly interested in the success of our employees, we need to be self-confident in our own ability. How many managers are afraid of their own employees showing them up and the company promoting the employee to their position? If a person is in the right job, capable of performing the work, and is accomplishing their job for the company, then any employer who would replace you is probably someone you don’t want to work for anyway. Brave words, I know, but in the end isn’t it better to move on to another company where you can thrive, or languish in a job where not only is your life miserable, but you make other peoples lives miserable also?

–Maxwell, J. C. (2007). Be A People Person. Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook.

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