In this Forbes blog, August Turak explains that if you want to be a great leader, you need to be a great follower. That’s not a new idea. But we like his fresh take on the key traits (like being coachable, goal-driven, offering solutions, and being compassionate) that the best leaders acquire as followers and then model for their own subordinates. In fact, a great leader acts just like a follower. And that’s the whole point.
In 1982 I left a great job at MTV: Music Television for what is now the A&E Network for one reason: to work for Jim Collins. A highly successful executive, Collins poured wisdom into my head by the bucket while keeping me in stitches with his big-hearted Irish sense of humor. One day he said: “Remember Augie, everybody got a boss. The vice president reports to the president and the president reports to the CEO. The CEO reports to the chairman of the board and the chairman reports to his wife. All God’s children got a boss. If you want to be a great leader you must also be a great follower.”