When I left school at the tender age of sixteen, my first full time job was an apprentice Heating and Ventilating Engineer for Robert Heyworth Company Chorlton Manchester. I was assigned to work with different engineers on both industrial and domestic sites and sought to follow their instructions and learn from their knowledge and expertise as well as attending college to complete my relevant qualifications. One of the most important tasks I didn’t want to fail in, was making the brews and getting the orders right for breakfast and dinners!
Follower and Supporter
Many would express that when they grow up they want to be a leader rather than a follower. However, I believe that to be a successful leader we have to learn how to be a faithful follower! It can be argued that many people will follow an unofficial leader who has a moral, spiritual and compassionate heart than an official leader who may exhibit quite the opposite.
We may define a follower as a disciple, adherent and partisan. In reading this blog it might be helpful for you to think about what it takes to be a good follower of a leader and then in the course of time, if it suits you, how to become a leader?
Ideas and Movements
A follower is a person who supports and admires a particular person or set of ideas. They are people who move or travel behind someone or something and will give full loyalty and support to a cause and each other. An example of one who follows can range from those who support certain political views, fashions and trends, having a religious faith, those who follow opinions, teachings, ideas, and movements, intellectual and artistic trends.
Character and Actions
To be a follower requires certain attributes such as a control of personal egos to show loyalty even in the face of opposition and try to be humble in areas where the follower might believe they have a better action plan or point of view than the leader. A follower should be willing to work hard when asked and have a courageous spirit in whatever is being expected from them. To be able to listen and follow instructions and where required be tactful and show wisdom, guile and to be able to network successfully.
A supporter should be able and willing to work within the confines of a team, pursuing that collective goal and mission which is headed up by the leader. Where required a follower should not just take a passive role but should be willing at times, for the good of the whole, to speak out so that a better decision and outcome takes place than if nothing was said. A good follower has more of an intense and individualistic focus in seeking to achieve what has been assigned to them which compares to an entourage that makes up many followers as exampled at a sports or music event.
We may follow various people and activities online and have our own followers who we appreciate known or unknown and sadly various trolls that may try to unsettle us. A different follower may be classed as a Voyeur who watches or follows a person or setting without them knowing and that person can easily transform into a Stalker who would be categorised as an unwelcomed follower and may intimidate and cause an individual to become fearful and uncomfortable.
A follower who has a broad perspective will appreciate the present in the context of what is possible or not able to be accomplished. They try to convey to people what is important in terms of attitude and actions for the good of the individual and the group and to lay aside that which is negative or unimportant. Such a supporter flies a flag that encourages a mind-set of trust for all to see so as to promote increased awareness, trust and communal strength. There are many life situations where at one moment we are a natural leader, say within the family, and in other cases a formal or natural follower and supporter!
Be Happy and Content
It is important to stress that it is acceptable to be a happy follower rather that a begrudging leader who might have been pressurised into leadership from their parents or community. The world needs leaders but it also requires followers of leaders to complete successful and shared targets and goals.
As previously mentioned if one is a good follower then that can act as an adequate training ground to becoming a leader. If that is the case for you at this moment then highlight what is required to take that path towards becoming a leader.
- Increase your personal development and self-awareness.
- Embark on specific training to acquire new skills and confidences.
- Be willing to take a step of faith into the unknown and become a leader in your own right.
- If it does not work for you then you can be certain and happy in continuing to be a dedicated follower of successful leaders.
In my last blog I spoke about Sharing is Caring and made a reference to the boy who shared his loaves and fishes willingly or by transaction and had no idea of its impact upon future generations. In that same story (Mark 6) we note the role of the disciples who had been instructed by Jesus to distribute the bread and fishes for the hungry and share the baskets of food left over.
If the followers did not listen and respond to the leader’s instructions at that time then lots of supporters would have been left very hungry and dissatisfied.
Selah (pause to think calmly on what has just been read)
“Encouragement for Daily Living” exploretoinspire.uk