Thursday, July 09, 2009

Is follow the opposite of lead?

I don't think so. Actually, it seems that Twitter may have a better handle on this notion. You follow / are followed back. There are no sections on the microblog about leading (thought leadership aside, of course).

Too often we equate strong leaders with how many so-called disciples they have. People who are willing to blindly jump off (or blow up) a bridge. Now while that might work in banana republics and assorted dictatorships, it doesn't seem like a smart model for business or the arts, where you'd hope the emphasis would be on looking for new ideas and insights; reflection that sparks imagination and provokes debate.

I got to thinking about this when I read what I'd call a truly inspirational blog post by Randy Hall on 'Self leadership'. In it, he contends that great leaders must first learn how lead themselves. And by that that he means going outside your comfort zone, not being afraid to dream big, try something new, fail and then try again; keep learning, have passion and truly believe in the vision you are trying to achieve.

I couldn't agree more. And, from a PR agency perspective, now seems like a great time for us to 'follow'-OK embrace-these principles so we can provide real leadership and guidance to our clients, encourage them to get beyond the tried and true practices and see the communications light at the end of a social tunnel.

And while we're on the subject, you may want to check out this post on 'How to be an effective CEO'.

Special thanks to my friend and agency-owner Gini Dietrich for being a such a superb RSS feed and pointing to so much relevant and worthwhile content.

2 comments:

Randy Hall said...

Martin,

Great post. Thanks for making us think about following as well as leading. I'm honored to be part of it.

All the best,

Randy

Gini Dietrich said...

I'm your RSS feed?!? LOL!