Tag Archives: followers

Why Would Anyone Follow You?

Why would anyone follow you as their leader if you didn’t control the financial  reins on their bank accounts and mortgages?

The CEO was stumped.

He had never thought of that before: what if all my employees were volunteers? Why would they follow me if they weren’t being paid?

Here is how James Kouzes, the long-time leadership development researcher and co-author of The Leadership Challenge, responded to that intriguing question in a radio interview with Kate Ebner on the Voice America Business Channel.

 “They would follow you because you build trust.

You foster collaboration.

 “You model the way, set a good example, challenge the process, are clear about your values, your vision for the future, and your ability to enlist others in your vision.

      “You make other people feel strong and capable.

And you search for opportunities to grow, innovate and improve.”  

To help you as a leader develop that trust and collaborative spirit that would inspire your employees to follow you even if they weren’t being paid (at least in the short run), consider savoring the 77 Leadership Mints — bite-sized ideas to freshen your feeling for leading in LOVING Like a Leader available on Amazon.com.

LOVING Like a Leader, With Empathy — the second book in the Leadership Mints Series –develops your emotional intelligence to better listen and relate to others with compassion, connection and conviction. Readers savor 77 Leadership Mints, bite-sized ideas that like a candy mint are quickly accessed and immediately refreshing your feeling for leading.

Get Your Copy of LOVING Like a Leader

Get Your Copy of LOVING Like a Leader

Leadership Mints Series Sampler: Cashing In On Your Empty Space

Star-gazers sense the awesome power and presence of light traveling 6 trillion miles a year for 4.367 years from our nearest star (Alpha Centauri) to finally come into our view.

But leaders see much more than meets the eye. They also factor the affect of the empty space between the stars. That “empty” space is full of something — something that governs the behavior of the stars.

In fact the space between the two flickering stars “is not nothing” as author Daniel Shapiro points out in his book Negotiating the Nonnegotiable. “It contains the gravitational pull that shapes their relationship.”

That gravitation pull of the spaces between the stars is critically significant in defining most objects not simply in defining the stars as Chinese philosopher Lao-Tse’s observed:

     Thirty spokes meet in the hub but the empty space between them is the essence of the wheel.

      “Pots are formed from clay but the empty space within it is the essence of the pot.

      “Walls with windows and doors form the house but the empty space within is the essence of the house.

        “And so, we see advantage is had from whatever is there but usefulness rises from whatever is not.”


Indeed, usefulness in a bicycle wheel stems from whatever is not there — the spaces — between the spokes. It is that space that ultimately governs the strength of each spoke. Likewise it is the follower who ultimately governs the strength of the leader, according to Keith Grint, a professor of public leadership at Warwick University in Coventry, England.

“In short, the power of leaders is a consequence of the actions of followers rather than a cause of it,” Grint says. “In effect, leadership is the property and the consequence of a community rather than of an individual.”

Likewise a leader is sanctioned only when others are aligned to follow in much the same way a wheel will spin only when the spaces (followers) are correctly — and collectively – -aligned to support the spokes (the leader). Both need each other.

On terra firma or beyond in the celestial heavens.

For more information on how you can enhance your leadership space — your pull on others — wherever you are,  purchase a 300-page book filled with 77 short stories (5-minute reads called Leadership Mints) from Amazon.com on examples from business, sports and politics.

It’s titled: THINKING Like a Leader with Clarity.

         It’s one of three books in The Leadership Mints Series designed to help leaders refresh their feeling for leading.

The two other books in The Leadership Mints Series -now available on Amazon.com — include and SPEAKING Like a Leader with Civility    and
LOVING Like a Leader with Empathy–