>Inspiring Your Authentic Week

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Inspiring Your Authentic Week

The vital importance of followership

Posted: 03 Jun 2010 11:43 PM PDT

A leader is someone others choose to follow, this is the simplest definition of leadership.

It follows that who and how we choose to follow is a vitally important, and that followership is a powerful and influential role.

When we follow we endorse, support and empower. We create leaders simply by choosing to follow. By choosing to follow we turn a lone voice into an inspiring agent of change. By ignoring them we can condemn them as an isolated nut.

If we choose to follow those whose purpose and values we align with, we enhance that meme. (Richard Dawkins coined the term meme to describe how ideas can follow a similar kind of evolutionary trajectory to genes.)

We follow through our work, our behaviour and our conversation. The choices we make in whose work, ideas and products we follow makes a difference.

Whether we see ourself as a leader or not, we are also a follower.

We are at a time of pivotal change in our society. It is evident that many aspects of the old model have completed their useful existence and are now dying. No where is this clearer than in oil, banking and religion.

Who we choose to follow now will determine the future of our society. Just as those who chose to follow Brunel, Faraday, Darwin, Ford, Gandhi, Hitler and others shaped the last century.

Here is a very simple example of the dynamics of followership.

Changing the way that we behave is hard. Changing damaging habits is hard enough when it relates to our personal health, it is so much harder when it is abstracted to a level of societal or planetary health. Harder still when the vast majority of people do not have the life circumstances to allow them to devote energy to considerations wider than their personal or close family challenges.

Further, a recent study has shown that we are prone to “change fatigue”. Our brain operates through a network of neural pathways. The ones we use most frequently (our habits) become clear and easy to navigate. Learning anything, like a new way of doing things, is a process of opening up new neural pathways.

Like a pathway in a forest, if we don’t keep using it, it will become overgrown and hard to navigate. Learning or relearning anything is a process of getting a machete out and clearing the pathway. It is hard work and tiring.

If we want to effect change we need to support and encourage each other through this process. This is the nature of leadership AND followership.

If you know someone who is doing something that you believe in follow them, support and empower them. Tell their story to everyone you know, help them shift from lone nut to inspiring leader.

Equally if you are following someone whose values you are not aligned with, change that situation, change their values or change who you follow. It is not just your personal wellbeing I am concerned about, supporting a damaging meme is potentially very dangerous for us all

Are you ready to lead the way to better business and a better world?

Are you ready to train the next generation of leaders?

If you would like to find out more about authentic leadership please visit the dedicated Authentic Leadership microsite and lets have a chat.

If you would are interested in helping to solve these kinds of challenge, you might like to join Authenticis as a consultant. Lets have a chat about that. The next round of training starts in mid June.

You can subscribe for free at www.neilcrofts.com

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With love


Neil Crofts
Neil Crofts
authentic business

+34 646391384
Skype – neilcrofts


About Neil Crofts

Writer, coach and consultant on authentic business and authentic leadership. Neil has inspired and motivated hundreds organisations and thousands of individuals to their highest potential. Neil has written three published books and numerous e-books. Neil is a coach, facilitator and consultant helping people and businesses find their authentic purpose and use it to inspire and motivate them to be everything that they can be. Neil has raced cars, been self-employed, run a company and sold it, been employed by large companies, experienced growth and contraction at the heart of the dotcom boom, tried changing companies from the inside and from the outside as European Head of Strategy at internet consultancy/rock band Razorfish. Neil has been independent for over 10 years and delivered his Authentic Leadership message to a diverse range of business audiences including people at BP, Shell, Microsoft, Kraft Foods, MSN, Jamie Oliver, South Gloucestershire Council, National Blood Transfusion Service, KaosPilots Business School, Fashion company By Malene Birger, German technology company Eleven.
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