Lead the Team: How to be the Person Others Follow
hard to find. They exhibit a unique blend of charisma, vision
and character traits that attract people to follow them. They
exhibit the other nine characteristics around which this
article series was developed.
recognize the need to attract followers. Followership has
recently been studied as a key to understanding leadership. To
follow, people must feel confidence in the direction in which
the leader is headed. They are enabled and empowered to do
their part in accomplishing the stated
leaders people follow are accountable and trustworthy. If
progress towards accomplishing the goals ceases, the leader
takes responsibility to analyze the problem – he doesn’t search
for people to blame. So people can have confidence that their
efforts won’t be punished if they take reasonable and
need to believe that, at the end of the journey, they will be
recognized and rewarded for their contribution. The leader must
help followers answer the question, “What’s in it for me”?
Successful leaders are honest about the potential risks
inherent in the chosen path. They communicate, not just the
overall direction, but any information followers need to
successfully and skillfully carry out their
the leader is the person who is in charge, the founder of the
business, the CEO, the president or department head. Leadership
qualities combined with positional power magnify the ability of
an individual to attract the all-important followers. In fact,
business owners can count on a certain amount of respect and
followership based on their ownership and title. Longevity,
too, plays a role in attracting and retaining followers. People
who have followed the leader for ten years will continue to
follow unless they lose trust in the leader’s
Characteristics of a Successful Leadership
written about what makes successful leaders. I will focus on
the characteristics, traits and actions that, I believe, are
person others choose to follow.
vision for the future.
other people feel important and
your values. Behave ethically.
pace through your expectations and
an environment of continuous improvement.
opportunities for people to grow, both personally and
and act with compassion.
Heathfield is a Human Resources expert. She is a management and
organization development consultant who specializes in human
resources issues and in management development to create
forward thinking workplaces. Susan is also a professional
facilitator, speaker, trainer, and