Leadership is about responsibility. To lead a team means your followers have transferred their worries to you. Yes, worries! This is actually so because followers have voluntarily renounced their rights to lead themselves to you so you can lead them, as they follow. As long as people follow, the leader has a responsibility to take them home. Ahenkorah (2018) hints that the sheep may go astray but they want to get home, anyway.
In effect, the shepherd shouldn’t think his sheep are clueless or aimless. Followers also have a plan. It is, nevertheless, believed that the leader has a smarter way which is why they are given the rod to lead, so followers would follow. It is for this matter, a leader must be responsible. An effective leader converts his worries into thinking. Of course, “uneasy lies the head that wears the crown”, Shakespeare hinted.
There’s also a brighter side though. A leader needs not to be apprehensive, wallowing and wading in fear. It is a beautiful place to be if you are responsible for others. All you need to do is to do what you are expected to do. A leader must ensure no one fails. A leader must not leave anyone behind even when a follower wants to.
Everyone knows what to do but few really get things done. Knowing and doing are two separate things. Being responsible is really about doing. On the flipside of things, to be responsible means a task must be done, and when you fail to do it or you do it wrongly, you are irresponsible! The world is getting tired of leaders pointing fingers at followers and situations. Human beings are collectively forgiven when people show honesty and willingness to learn.
A true leader always owns all the failures as his responsibilities, and blames no one nor provides any excuses as justifications. The key challenge is that followers are tired of leaders who do nothing, and are not ready to learn either. J.F. Kennedy said leadership and learning are indispensable to each other (Hughes et al 2015).
If you study the life of JFK, apart from his charisma, one thing stands out – he was always willing to learn. This gave him the privilege as a trusted and courageous leader (Dallek 2018). Remember that trust deepens influence, not power.
To be continued…..