Many of us have been in situations where we were once the leader but now we are followers. This has been the situation for me as I have moved from one area of business to another. This choice was something I made intentionally and a path that I felt was the best for me personally. However, the transition is not always an easy one.
How do we as leaders handle the process of becoming the one who is being told what to do? Often this is a difficult transition because we are leaders! This is in our DNA and having to take direction from someone else becomes difficult.
If you think about how police departments or fire departments work you see organizations where it is very important that everyone knows their roles. You need clearly identified leaders and people who are executing the direction. If you imagine a car crash where things are happening very quickly and lives are at stake. The leader on the scene is directing what is happening. This person is making sure that everyone lives and is safe!
Most of our jobs don’t mean that people die if we don’t do our jobs correctly. However I am sure most of us think the people we work with sometimes feel this way!!
So how do we make this transition, first we must get rid of the thought that we are the leader and therefore we know better than the person who is put in charge as our leader! We all have things we can learn and if we go into the situation with an open mind it will make the transition easier!
Next, we have to stop thinking that if we were the leader we would do the job better! I am very guilty of this! Instead see how your leader handles situations and what they did well! Think about how you could learn from the situation.
Finally, show respect! So first of all stop rolling your eyes at me and saying that you DO respect them because if you think about if for a moment you probably have had moments where you don’t. Again I am super guilty of this!!
By going into the situation with a respectful attitude we can really transition into the follower role!
Stay tuned for the next post where we address this from the Leader perspective.