October 31

Leadership? How about Follower-ship First? | WT #26


There are many books available on Leadership, but have you seen one on Follower-ship?

You’ve heard the old saying “You have to learn to follow before you learn to lead.” But how do you practice following? Here are three suggested steps.

  1. Practice listening. Simply repeating back what someone else said to them is a way to practice.
  2. Reflect. Think about what the other person said, even if it’s a short pause before replying to them. This small adjustment will pay-off, at least with your relationship with the other person.
  3. Ask God what you are to do. You don’t always have to lead, even if that is your formal or informal title or role. The best leaders are skillful at mixing-in some following.

Lastly, learning to follow others develops one trait that is crucial for an effective leader: humility.

About the author 

Darren Smith

Darren Smith is Co-Founder of the Authentic Leadership Institute. He is a native Texan and a graduate of Dallas Jesuit and Texas A&M University. Over the past 25 years, Darren has visited 35 countries and led 100 strategy programs. He and his wife have five children.


You may also like

The Truth about the Truth | WT #83

The Truth about the Truth | WT #83