Discovering Followership- The Neglected Secret of Getting Ahead in Life

 Three weeks in the month of August 2010 changed my life forever. My senior Pastor and his wife went on mission trip to Africa and handed the affairs of the church to me.I was  now  “in-charge” and  as the  associate pastor I was given  the  commission by  my  Pastor to  “take  care  of  the sheep.” They were going to be away initially for two weeks but had to extend their stay for one more week.

It was  an honor to assist in that  capacity and  to be honest, I was  a little bit  apprehensive about how  things would turn  out  in  their absence. Those three weeks ended up being great and I must confess that I learned more about life, balance and leadership in that short period than in my entire life put together.

The dynamics of the responsibility of leading was very fast paced for  me  as I had  to juggle ministry, family life  as well as a regular nine to five job.   Notwithstanding, the Holy Spirit came through and assisted me tremendously.

One week into my pastor and his wife’s absence, I began to wish they were around to take the burden of leadership back.  “Wow, this leadership thing is no joke,” I thought. Every day, I was faced with a new issue/challenge that needed to be addressed or handled as a pastor.

I found out  that  the  role  of a Pastor was  not  only  time consuming but  also  very  spiritually and  mentally demanding. I had to learn how to deal with people of various temperaments and most of all get into the detailed intricacies of church administration.

During this  period,  I  believed  that  I  was  getting schooled in the art of “Leadership”; however the Lord began to lead  my focus in another direction. The Lord was leading me to zero in on followership instead and its corresponding role to the success of any organization or dream.

The need to focus on followership was increased after a conversation on the third week of my pastor’s absence with a member of  the congregation where it  seemed that  I expected more initiative from the  individual than I was getting. I experienced a paradigm shift and I suddenly realized that the success of any organization or establishment is highly dependent on the symbiotic relationship that should exist between leaders and  followers.

Lee Thayer, a leadership consultant and author, writes about this  relationship in an online article, here is what he says,

“The leader-follower relationship is a very complex one.  To attribute the  magic solely to a “leader” misses the  point. If the leader needs a follower in order to be a leader, and  if the  follower needs a leader in order to be  a  follower, their interdependence can’t be “deconstructed.” The success of either depends upon the relationship. Ask any married couple. Ask any teacher. Ask any loser.  Ask the person who  provides her  own  leadership, and  who  fol- lows her own  leadership. The magic is in the compounding, not in the one  or the other[1]”

Now thats true talk……

Except from my book ~ Discovering Followership- The Neglected Secret of Getting Ahead in Life.

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2 thoughts on “Discovering Followership- The Neglected Secret of Getting Ahead in Life

  1. 3ciah August 3, 2011 / 12:33 am

    very inspiring piece; i learned something new. thanks for sharing!!!!

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