Leaders usually don’t like to think of themselves as followers but it is necessary for their own personal growth as well as the growth of the church or organization where they work! “Followership” is an important skill needed by every healthy leader as it teaches the need for alignment, understanding, empathy and humility.
Joshua 1:16-18 NLT
They answered Joshua, “We will do whatever you command us, and we will go wherever you send us. We will obey you just as we obeyed Moses. And may the Lord your God be with you as he was with Moses. Anyone who rebels against your orders and does not obey your words and everything you command will be put to death. So be strong and courageous!”
And they answered Joshua, saying, All that you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go. Just as we obeyed Moses in all things, so we will obey you; only may the LORD your God be with you, as He was with Moses. "Anyone who rebels against your command and does not obey your words in all that you command him, shall be put to death; only be strong and courageous.
Be Flexible: “We will do whatever you command us.”
Being flexible as a follower fuels confidence in the leader. Willingness of the follower to do whatever needs to be done will ultimately allow the leader to focus on more important things. Spending time trying to convince a stubborn follower to be more flexible is not a good use of their time.
Be Adaptable: “We will go wherever you send us.”
When things don’t go according to plan the leader can always count on a loyal and adaptable follower. The leader may not want another idea or another way to do something especially when managing something in crisis. They just want someone to step up, adapt to the situation, and get it done.
Be Respectful: “So we will obey you.”
We had his back, now we got yours! They respected the leadership of Joshua by showing loyalty and commitment.
Be Hopeful: “May the LORD your God be with you.”
Followers who are hopeful breathe life into the leader. Followers who are resentful only suffocate the leaders ability to move forward.
Be Powerful: “Be strong and courageous."
Encouraging the leader gives them power to keep moving forward when they need it most. As a follower, when the horizon seems darkest for the leader, we need to speak up with words of courage to give them hope to carry on and not give up.
I’m sure many of you reading this post would say you naturally default to leadership. Me too. However, there are times each one of us are in a position to follow. When we find ourselves in that leadership space we can do our best to follow the words spoke to Joshua that day. Words that he desperately needed to hear needed to hear.
Photo Credit: shutterstock.com Photo ID: 487208212 c Soonthorn Wongsaita