Leaders Let People Do, Not Follow

No one wants to be a back seat driver forever.

That is a fact.

There are many kinds of leaders with differing opinions on this simple fact:

Those who gain their authority from the structure of an organization—a boss, a manager, a supervisor

Others, however, seem to gain this type of authority almost organically.

If you want to be in this second category, you have to embrace a different mindset about how you motivate and conceive of the people you lead.

People naturally want to do things, they want autonomy, and they want the freedom to do things on their own. Most organizations stifle this type of behavior by citing rules and policies that compartmentalize tasks, enforce constant observation, and reinforce the feeling that workers are naturally deficient and are not to be trusted.

By letting people do things on their own, you suggest that you trust them, and this in turn makes them WANT to follow you. It is very easy to derive authority from the fact that you occupy a post on a higher level of a hierarchy, but this does not make a leader. True leaders CREATE their own authority by promoting a shared vision within a company, a department, or a group and then letting those that they lead make this vision a reality.

People want to do. No one wants to be a back seat driver forever.

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