In Monday's blog, I talked about some ways for leaders to assess their followers. Followers and leaders are joined across a spectrum of relational commitments. The pinnacle of this relational commitment is called “Die-hards" by Barbara Kellerman in her book Followership: How Followers are Creating Change and Changing Leaders.
Die-hard followers are seen as passionate when it comes to ideas and people. They are dedicated to things they assign high value.
It is important to understand that it is the follower who decides what they attribute high value to, not the leader. You as the leader can think that a follower should assign high value to something, however, this does not mean that they will assign high value. It is nearly impossible to create die-hard followers without an understanding of what they value.
Here are 3 things you can do TODAY to start creating die-hard followers:
1. Be clear about your own values. It is important that you are clear with yourself about what is important to you. Not everything can be important. Our human minds are finite and can only latch onto a few concepts at a time. This first step is meant to focus you on what is really important.
2. Meet one-on-one with followers and assess their values. This is not a meeting to try to convince them that they should value what you value. Rather, this is a meeting that is full of curiosity on your part. Ask them open ended questions like, “What is the most important thing to you in your role?"
3. Align their values with the vision you have for the organization. It is when you can align their values with the mission of the organization that real commitment begins to form.
Here is a free bonus for you as you think about creating die-hard followers:
Let go of the stupid, trivial stuff that is impeding your followers and preventing them from becoming die-hard followers. What are you hanging onto as a leader that is causing your followers to give you less than a 100% commitment? What silly bias could you let go of to bring you logarithmic improvement in the commitment level of your followers?
If I can be of any help to you as you sort this out, please do not hesitate to contact me. There is never any cost for our first phone conversation.
Have a great weekend!