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Is a leader a leader if no one follows them? Isn’t the primary purpose of a leader to do just that, to lead? But what happens if you don’t have any followers? Does that mean you’re not a leader?

Why is it SO hard to lead an organisation, and lead it well? Is it because of a leader’s inability to adjust their leadership style to the company, to the culture, to ensure that they find a way to influence where they are with what they have? Or, are we perhaps focusing too much on this leader and forgetting the most important type of leadership: the first follower.

As is demonstrated in the above video, it is the first follower that turns that “lone nut” into a leader. It is that first follower that shows courage, courage to support what they stand up for. And because of that courage, they communicate that this leader is worthy of following. That this leader is no longer alone, they are in fact, now a leader.

So instead of promoting the conventional type of leadership, I think we need to be encouraging more leaders in the form of first followers. Leadership can be lonely - but it’s only lonely because many people are too afraid to stand up for what they believe in. I challenge you now then to consider, what do you stand for? Who do you stand with? And how can you be a leader by being a follower?

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