Playing follow the leader

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in Leaders & Managers,People Management

While Dick Cross was training to become a naval officer 30 years ago, he studied the “bearing” of an officer: how you looked, how you disciplined others, whom you talked to and how.

Leadership in the U.S. Navy was about fulfilling the responsibilities of the position,” he says.

He saw things differently: “It seemed to me that leadership was more about who you are than about how you wear your clothes, how you address your troops, your physical posture, and whether you follow the rules.”

Times have changed. Authority today, Cross says, is not granted officially but by those who agree to follow their leader.

They can’t merely be followers, but active, thinking supporters. Followers follow, he says, because they don’t have a choice, while supporters support because they believe in the leader and the cause.

— Adapted from Just Run It!, Dick Cross, Bibliomotion.

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