Best-selling author and inspirational speaker Simon Sinek said, “To be a leader, you must have followers.” That’s a pretty obvious statement from a wise man. But leads us to the real question about leadership: “Why would people follow you?”
Great leaders have certain characteristics in common. It’s how they inspire their followers to achieve higher levels. But what is the true mark of a leader? How do you become a leader? What inspires people to follow you?
Here are the qualities you must show as a leader to gain followers:
- Trust: Leadership is about trust. You can’t put trust on a CV. If you’re a leader who can be trusted then those around you will grow to respect you.
- Respect: It is that respect that is earned from trust that gives you credence as a leader. You must earn the respect of people to have them become followers.
- Does good things: A good leader does all the positive things expected of a leader, from providing direction to motivating employees. A good leader gets things done.
- Knows who they are: Leaders really have to know who they are as people. Where did they come from and where are they headed? What are their values?
- Knows their employees: A true leader must invest the time to get to know his or her people. Leaders have really got to know with whom they’re working and what motivates them.
- Values and Standards: Leadership is about values. And it’s about the standards leaders set for themselves and their people. You’re going to do that by asking the tough questions and letting employees discern how to apply the values and standards of the firm.
These are the first steps to becoming a leader who has followers. It may seem obvious to most, but it’s often unfamiliar to those who are seeking to develop a following and need a starting place to becoming a stronger leader.