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  • michiesharon

In this leadership culture, who are the followers?

Honored. Humbled. Proud to serve.

You read about it every day. Another leader, another leadership award, another catchy leadership headline. Scroll through LinkedIn, and you’ll find servant leaders challenging you to lead authentically.

Who are these leaders, well, leading? If everyone’s a leader, who is following? Are leaders just leading each other? I can’t find a profile that reads, “I love to follow- lead me!” Are there too many (insert leader), not enough (insert follower)? Is this leadership kitchen big enough for all the chefs?

To find answers, I researched hashtag popularity on LinkedIn:

#leadership has 288,321 followers (the irony!)

#support has 3,437 followers

#follow has 1,537 followers

… and not one follower follows #follower.

I’m honored to take the lead to follow #follower, and hope this authentic gesture will challenge you to follow #follower.

The more I read about leadership and leaders’ achievements, the more I search for followers. I look for supporters. The person who does not self-identify as a leader. The person who is too busy doing the work to stop for a photo op or social media ‘shout out’.

One of my favorite bands since childhood is Drivin n Cryin. In 1988, they released “With the People”. My favorite lyrics in the song are “the leader must start the march, then fall behind to walk with the people.” I’m reminded the importance of working alongside others.

The person in front is just showing their ass to the rest of us.

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