John Wooden said “the most powerful leadership tool you have is your own personal example.” Leading successfully is about choosing to exhibit, constantly, the traits and skills that inspire others to be their very best. Leading isn’t something you are; it is something you do.
Like an orchestra leader conducting a band, an effective leader brings out the very best of each member of the team. He/she understands the role of each member of the team and is able to coax the very best performance out of each.
Leaders build leaders. Through their actions and behavior, they cultivate a new generation of greatness. They create followership: having others so in tune to their leadership that they go where they go as their career progresses. Followers do the work of a leader so that the goals of the team can be achieved.
Yes, just like there can be no conductor without a band; without followers, there are no leaders.
“A leader with no followers is someone taking a walk, who happens to be highly delusional”
Like the conductor, a great leader lets the work of the team be the show. Highly confident to be defined by the combined output of the team, a leader turns his/her focus on ensuring each player is their personal best.
Where is your focus? Are you the leader dramatically waving your baton in a grandiose show of ill-rewarded attention? Or have you fixed your focus on ensuring each section and chair in your ‘band’ has skilled, high-performing individuals who, by working in concert with the team, create beautiful music?