Recently I have become a binge watcher of a show entitled “Black Sails.” For those of you who have not seen it, think Sopranos meets Pirates of the Caribbean. Regardless, one of the pirates was speaking to another and he said in reference to the captain: “I follow him because I give a damn about what he can get me, I give a damn about you because you give a damn about what I think…and I’m not the only one around here who thinks that way.” At that moment, the pirate listening sees that he is in a very powerful position, he has tremendous influence without being captain of the ship. I found this to be a true testimonial to what leadership is at its core – the ability to influence a team. John Maxwell’s work often references the need for a leader to understand that influence creates followers, and your effectiveness level of leadership is determined by the effective scope of that influence.
So I challenge you the next time you meet with your team – the people you influence. Ask yourself why do they following me? Or better yet, find a manner to determine from them, why do they follow you? Consider the following: Are they following me because of who I am and what I represent; or are they following me because they have to?
I wish you all the best – and please, lets continue this discussion.