Leader to Follower … Leaders Perspective

Leaders, we’ve all had that person on our team who was once a leader and is now a follower on our team.  They may have changed industries, jobs or intentionally taken a step back. Anyway it happened they are now on our team and we know that they were leaders in their previous jobs.

How do we handle this?  It can often seem a bit scary because we may question our own leadership when confronted with someone who was a previous leader especially if they are high energy leaders!

First, acknowledge that they are a leader!  Don’t ignore it, or try to ‘put them in their place’.  Next get them on your side!  Seek their input, get them involved in leadership of the team and other team members!

Essentially USE THEM to your advantage.  Trying to ignore it, or making them feel small will only demean your own leadership!

There maybe times when you have to provide them with negative feedback.  This can be scary if you are not confident in your own leadership.  Seek feedback from other leaders prior to speaking with them and then talk with them as another leader.  Leaders should always be seeking feedback both negative and positive!

Provide the feedback by letting them know the issue and then asking them for their input. Don’t talk at them, instead of saying “you messed up and the client is mad” ask for their feedback.  Let them know you received feedback that the client isn’t happy with a current situation.  Ask how they would handle this in the future. My guess is that they know they messed up and they have already beat themselves up over it.

Asking them how they would handle it in the future will allow them to know that you trust them and will not undermine them as leaders.

It is never easy when leading other leaders, but you can do it! And it will make you a better leader!


Not everyone understands the importance of being humble.  Being humble doesn’t mean being weak or submissive it means understanding that you are part of something bigger.  Dictionary.com says “having or showing a modest or low estimate of one’s own importance”

I was recently talking with my husband about this, and why some people are hired more quickly than others and we both agreed that being humble is probably the key.  Think about this, you are good at your job you understand what you bring to the team however you go into an interview thinking that the company needs you and that you are better than anyone else out there.

You are probably very good at your job and I am sure you bring ALOT to the company however the company is thinking this person isn’t going to fit with their culture.  The minute you come across as the person the company can’t live without they are going to shut down.  They want to hear how you fit, how you are going to enhance the team and how the team is going to enhance you!

Being humble doesn’t mean you are weak or less than someone else, it means being able to understand that you are part of a bigger picture and you fit!

Being a leader often means we humble our selves to serve our teams.  We must know that we don’t know it all, that sometimes our team as a whole knows more than we do and being a great leader means going the extra step to draw that out.

Think about this, the next time a team member comes to you with a problem, you can probably solve it, in fact I am 100% sure you can! However, what would it look like if you said, wow that’s a great question, let’s see if ‘Joe’ can assist?  Joe now feels like he has something valuable to add and the person asking the question feels like they are part of a bigger team.

Being humble can not only make you a great leader it can also land you the best job as well!  The next time think about not only how you can make the team great, but how the team can make you great!