Sometimes you consider the value of your achievements and you are not sure if you are actually making an impact. You put a lot of your time diligently trying to move things forward. You feel like no one really understands the actual time you put in researching or learning to implement ideas into your leadership craft. You feel like a failure. Does this sound familiar?
The principle of leaders and followers is a large study, which some have committed their whole lives to, but often we think we can figure it out all by ourselves. The more I lead, the more I understand I must commit to learn more! Leadership is one of the trades in life, in which you must never stop learning. If you want people to follow your leadership, you must be at least one step ahead.
You are taking people to places you have been before, or into new areas you have planned and prepared to lead them to. The statement,
you cannot lead from behind
is true! If you do not believe me, try going into a dark tunnel that you have been in before, but instead of you leading the way, let someone else who has never been in the tunnel go a head. Let them make the decisions and see what happens. Chances are you will be lost in a matter of minutes. That’s the thing about your leadership; you know where you are going. People are excited to follow you into areas they have never been to before and things they never dreamed possible. You have done the work and have mapped out a plan. The right people are willing to follow.
There is a common idiom, which has been used and passed down throughout the ages, which says,
You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.
I learned the fallacy of this statement from a long-time friend who passed away in 2015. He taught me, take the horse to the water and if the horse will not drink, put salt on its lips. Salt creates a desire for water, just as we must create a desire for our followers to follow our leadership. So, please pass the salt!