What are the four most essential elements for a person to follow a leader?
I recently completed reading the book, strength based leadership. It’s an excellent read if you have the time. Along with the book you are give a code to take a strength based leadership test. I have asked the guys who report to me to take the test and we are compiling their strengths as I type this. The book is yet another stab at the working in your strengths message the Gallup organization has been preaching for a decade. If you have not tapped into this philosophy on leadership and personal growth you REALLY need to. The writings of Tom Rath and Marcus Buckingham, both members of the Gallup staff, have revolutionized the way I work. Enough selling, let me get to the point.
As I read through this latest book I came to a section titled, “why people follow.” Without question this simple list was the most valuable page in the entire book. After polling 10,000 people over three years here’s what they found to be the most important elements needed to follow someone…
The chance of an employee being engaged @ work if they do not trust the leadership of the organization is just 1 in 12, according to gallup. If people don’t believe you are a person of integrity then they will not follow you.
Gallup has asked 10 million people to respond to this question, “My supervisor, or someone at work, seems to care about me as a person.” People who agree with this statement are…
- More likely to stay with the organization
- Have more engaged customers
- Are substantially more productive
This is a rough one for the church. While we have ultimate stability in Christ we are always changing our programs. In order to follow people need stability. The one thing we can offer is stability in our commitment to those who volunteer or work for us. The program may change but how we feel about the person can be stable. Interestingly, employees who have confidence in their company’s financial future are nine times more likely to be engaged in their jobs.
Other words used to respond to this category were direction, faith, and guidance. As we lead people we have to remember the strong need they have to hope for the future.
I am the first to admit I read too many books. However, when I combine this information with Seth Godin’s excellent book, tribes, I am seeing a theme emerge. As leaders of paid staff and thousands of volunteers ask yourself how you are working to instill these things in the lives of the people who follow you. Have an awesome week!