Leadership author John C. Maxwell says in his book Leadership 101, “Real leadership is being the person others will gladly and confidently follow.”
This statement tells us a couple of things. Firstly, a leader is not simply a title that compels people to be followers of. Instead, a leader is someone whom people follow because they want to, not because they have to.
In other words, if people choose to follow you, it would be for their reasons, not yours. Failure in leadership is thus the result of a disconnect between the reasons why someone wants to be a leader, and the reasons why people want to follow that leader.
So, why would anyone want to follow you?
To answer this, you need to examine within yourself: What are the reasons for me wanting to be a leader?
If your reasons are power, control and status, that would most likely not attract anyone to follow you! People wouldn’t want to follow you so that you gain power and status. And they most certainly wouldn’t want to follow you so that you have control over them.
On the other hand, if your reasons are to set out to serve, support and bring out the best in others, you are probably on the right track, for the simple fact that this is what others want for themselves as well, and they will help you to achieve your goals.
Do you crave power over others, or seek to empower others?
Do you desire to have control others, or seek to give others control?
Do you pursue status, or seek to elevate others?
With a mindset that puts others’ interests at heart, you will become a leader that others will “gladly and confidently follow.”