The best leaders are those who know how to follow well. In turn, they are supported by followers, who are leaders, who follow and so on and so forth.
Martin Luther King Jnr was a great leader because he courageously followed the dream in his heart, a dream of a better tomorrow for his children.
A byproduct of his courageous “follow-ship” was that many followed that same dream and that dream became a reality.
Jesus Christ, arguably the greatest leader in history, followed the leadership or will of His Father. He also told others, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19).
Here, He is saying: Follow me, as I also follow my Father, and I will make you leaders (that is, people, who others will follow).
Whether you are following a leader, boss, or dream, or whether you desire to become a great leader, boss, or dream-caster: be encouraged to follow courageously.
What does the courageous follower look like?
Firstly, they are risk-takers. We usually structure our lives to reduce risk to an acceptable level. However, courage requires a willingness to consciously raise our level of risk to follow without reservation and wholeheartedly. If there is no risk, courage is not needed.
Nelson Mandela said, “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.”
Secondly, they are responsible. Courageous followers discover or create opportunities to fulfil their potential and maximise their value to the team. They are not afraid to work hard to see their leader and team succeed.
Thirdly, they are willing to change. Courageous followers see the need for transformation, whether in society, in organisations or in themselves. They champion the need for change.
The sooner we get used to the idea of courageous followers supporting courageous leaders (who are courageous followers), the sooner we can change the world for the better.
I hope this has challenged you to be a courageous follower of others but also of dreams and visions bigger than yourself and your present reality.
I have a dream that one day there will be a cure for MND / ALS. For me to realise that dream I must courageously face the reality of this disease and be willing to take risks and be responsible so that awareness and finances can inspire research and breakthrough.
What is your dream or vision for your better future?
Ask yourself what steps of risk, transformation or responsibility are required to step out with courage today.