Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Leaders Have Leaders

 Confused?    Don't be.

I have been conducting a discussion with a group that I created on a social networking site about John Maxwell's book, "Everyone Communicates, Few Connect" for quite some time now.  I have mentioned this book in my blog to you previously as well.  This, my latest message to the group, was something that I feel very strongly about and thought you might find it interesting as well.  I began my message as follows:

Confused?  Don't be.  I want to take a little break from my discussion of John Maxwell's book to talk a little bit about a very important aspect of leadership. The book we've been discussing is about leaders connecting with their "audience" (whatever shape that term takes). And this is a good place in our discussion to detour somewhat because we have covered the five principles of connecting and part 2 is about connecting practices - putting those principles into action. In other words, we know what and why, we now need to know how. So, here in the middle, I want to give you a little insight of my own.

I've had some experiences this week that have really brought what I'm about to discuss to the forefront on my mind. I don't want my title to confuse you, but maybe you'll understand if I say it a different way.

Leaders are followers. Plain and simple. You cannot lead if you do not know how to follow. For one thing, you will not be able to relate to your followers because you will have never been in their shoes, so to speak. How can you teach if you've not been taught? You first had to learn. And some may say, "Yes, I had a leader, a teacher, but now I'm the leader and teacher." The thing is, if you quit learning you become stagnant. If you quit receiving, you begin to dry up. If you quit growing, you begin to die.

And so, it is extremely important that you, as a leader, have a leader. Or you could use the term Mentor. I'm very thankful for the leaders in my life. I believe they have taught me well. I lead in many different arenas. I've managed employees. I've raised children, for sure. I've run several offices. I am a musician and I lead in that area, as well, as a teacher, a director, and a department head. I could never do any of these things if I was not willing to be taught and to learn from others.

I know that some of you probably have different opinions from myself where spiritual matters are concerned, but I am thankful for my spiritual leader. I actually have two of those. Biblically speaking (contrary to popular belief) my husband is a spiritual leader in my life, and then I have an awesome Pastor. I am not afraid, ashamed, or threatened to submit to good leadership. In fact, that leadership gives me the confidence to aspire to and achieve greater things in life than I could have ever imagined.

Some leaders in my life, don't even know me. I have submitted myself to their teachings of my own accord because I believe that what they have to teach me is of great value. I will readily admit that I don't know it all. I follow these individuals' writings and attempt to assimilate the principles they teach into my own life because I want to be as successful as they are. You can probably guess that one of these individuals is John Maxwell. And Darren Hardy is another, along with the late Jim Rohn and others.

It's all about submission, really. And I know that that word is not a popular word in this society. I'm sure that when some think of the word submission they put it in a wrong context. It's not about slavery. It's about taking advantage of the knowledge and expertise of that leader and being willing to learn from them and glean all that you can. You must have a hunger for knowledge. And then, what you receive, you can turn around and let it flow out of you to someone else and the circle will be complete.

I concluded my message in a different way than I want to conclude it here, although, you may be interested in checking out one particular site that I encourage the group to check out.  There is great value to be had in learning how to be successful and the pitfalls to look for when searching out money making opportunities:

But, to conclude my message here. . . .

The last point I want to make about following in order to lead is that one must be willing to put aside preconceived ideas and notions of self-promotion and take instruction, which could (and probably would) include constructive criticism, before learning could ever occur.  You've probably heard the term, "Man up!"  We have to swallow our pride, admit that we need instruction, and "take it like a man!"  We have to remember that others are following us and they learn from our actions.  Let's teach them to be great leaders and give them the knowledge that Leaders have Leaders.


  1. Leslie,
    Super job, You are right on, if you can not follow you can not lead.
    Excellent Article.
    Barbara Ross

  2. Thank you Leslie for this most informative article. Well worth the read.

  3. Thanks, guys! You are all an inspiration to me!

  4. Leslie, thanks for the share.
    I can feel this coming straight from your heart and soul.
    Lynn Rothfuss

  5. Thank You for writing the article. It has really been informative to say the least.

  6. That's my sister, always bringing you a place that makes you stop & think. A true leader will always have followers that have followers that have followers, and he will be a follower as well.
    Perry Taylor

  7. Awesome article Leslie keep up the good work thumbs up.