Posted by: David D. Daggett | January 26, 2009

Lead and Follow

Lead and Follow

      Are you a leader? If so, do you also take time to follow? Do you lead or follow? To really develop and learn best we probably need to do a little of each.

Retired Chief Judge Sid Eagles of the North Carolina Court of Appeals

This past week we had the Inauguration and changes in our national leadership. I also had the opportunity to speak on a program for bar leaders across our state. During the week I enjoyed watching different leaders and different styles. It struck me that most effective leaders also know when to follow.

Life is a pilgrimage for all of us. There are times to lead, but also times to follow. In our quest to lead, do we miss opportunities to follow? As leaders, we need to notice and be open to the opportunities to follow. Interestingly, choosing opportunities to follow can make us better leaders.

Successful following, just like leading, needs to be done intentionally, deliberately, and with an eye toward individual and collective improvement. Following can allow us to learn, improve, grow, get fuller, and even get faster. Sometimes following allows us to step out into new things, and to the unknown. This makes our life building process richer, fuller, and gives us the potential for even more success.

Perhaps mentorship is a way to have simultaneous leading and following by actively seeking mentors and mentees in the various aspects of our lives. If we start with our anchors, then we intentionally seek out mentors and mentees professionally, athletically, spiritually, and as a parent or family member. This method ensures that we are always improving in the areas that are important in our lives while at the same time insuring that the future of each of these areas is positively affected in others.

Mentor/mentee relationships can be formal or informal. Further, you can have multiple of each in each of the areas that are important. This is a sure fire success strategy for yourself and for others.

Trying to lead and follow,

David

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