A friend took me biking this week. He wanted to show me some hilly trails. We met at an agreed-upon spot and started our ride. He led the way.
As I followed, I was able to keep up for a while, but then I began to fall behind. Whoosh, these hills were tough. As we went downhill, he was able to speed even further ahead.
If he looked back, he would have seen me falling behind. But, he just kept pedaling forward. A second set of hills, and before I knew it, he was so far ahead he was completely out of view.
This guy was being a terrible leader. What good is leading if you don’t have a follower? At this point, he wasn’t a leader at all … but a lone ranger.
I rode another quarter mile, but there was no sign of him. Frustrated, I turned around to head home. It was hot, and I decided to get ice cream.
In the middle of all this, I saw a business lesson. What took place on the bike trail, takes place in the office.
You’ve got someone with vision, direction, and the desire to lead. They recruit followers, but forget to communicate important details, such as the big picture, how long the road is ahead … and where the end point is. As a follower, lack of information is frustrating and demotivating.
Great leadership not only requires vision and direction to move forward, but also the ability to look back. Drive forward confidently, but also “lead.” And provide your followers the ability to follow.