By: Douglas Hollon, coach, public speaker, and blogger at
You have to know how to Follow before you can successfully Lead.
This lesson was one of the first things I learned when I started my military career. There were other lessons that I learned that involved Trust, Integrity, Loyalty….. but today, we will talk about being a Follower.
With all Teams, Companies, Organizations, etc., there are leaders and followers. Some leaders are chosen by the employees, some are appointed by a board, some are voted on the electorate. Regardless, how a leader is put into place, a leader is not a leader unless he or she has anyone following him or her. John Maxwell stated “if you believe you are a leader, look behind you. If no one is following you, you are just out for a walk.” So true.
There are many ways leaders attain their power, and we will discuss this at a latter time. Today, we are going to discuss how to be a Follower or better an Awesome Team Player.
Here are Six Ways to be an Awesome Team Player:
1. Do what is needed before it is asked for.
Look around. Look in your office, business, work bay, classroom, restaurant, wherever you work and see what needs to fixed and fix it. Don’t wait to be asked. If you see something out of place, correct it. Do not take the attitude of “that is not in my job description.” Just fix it.
Do what is needed before asked.
2. Suggest positive changes for the company
If you see areas in your work environment that can be improved, make suggestions. If you believe it is not safe to speak up or you fear some sort of retribution, then, make your suggestions anonymously. Remember, you are suggesting positive changes. Not criticizing anyone.
“To disagree silently is disloyal” Reed Hastings, Netflix Founder and CEO
Speak up and suggest positive changes.
3. Do a little bit more.
Over deliver. On a scale from 1 to 10, go for 13. Your efforts will be seen and possibly rewarded. Jesus Christ taught the principle of Do More than Expected when he explained “And whoever shall force you to go one mile, go with him two.” What does this mean? During the 1st Century, Roman soldiers could force anyone to carry their backpacks for one mile. Jesus was stating that as a Christ follower, set the example by carrying the backpack for two miles.
Do more than expected.
4. You ask for feedback directly.
Ask questions about your work product or results. Get the feedback and apply the suggestions to perform even better. Do not be shy. Ask questions. You are there to learn to be better.
Ask for Feedback.
5. Bring Positive Energy.
No Playground antics. No gossiping, no whining, no complaining, no comparing.
Have a positive attitude. Before entering your work area, get your mindset flowing in a positive direction. Shake yesterdays challenges. Shake the commute into work. Shake whatever will cause a negative aura. Will being positive cause everything to go smoothly? Not at all. One of my mentors, Mr. Zig Ziglar stated it well: “Positive thinking will let you do everything better than negative thinking will.”
6. Never Drop the Ball. Reliability.
Be Reliable. Take care of your responsibilities. If you state you will do something, then do it. If you are expected to be at work by a certain time, then arrive on time. Do your job, and do your job to the best of your ability.
Be Reliable. In conclusion, being a follower has its responsibilities. As a follower, you have certain expectations of your Supervisor. Your Supervisor also has expectations of you. Be the best follower you can be. Set the example and someday, you will be the Leader.
About Douglas Hollon:
Doug is a Leadership and Personal Success coach who focuses on helping each person lead his or her employees or family with extraordinary success, and he helps each person to be the best person he or she can be. His emphasis is on team leaders and fathers of blended families. He brings a lot of dedication, loyalty, and compassion and enjoys working with clients in the areas of personal development, building winning relationships, and goal setting.
Doug has completed 48 Days DISC Certification and is currently working toward being a certified 48 Days Coach through our Coaching Mastery Program. His background includes: Leading Teams (business and military), Personal Development, and Personal Finance/Credit Reporting. You can find out more about him by visiting his website www.expresswaycoaching.com .