Three Steps to​ Become a Leader Your People Love to Follow

lightstock_401639_medium_byrene_haney I learned early on as a leader that being popular cannot be my end goal. The nature of leadership means you must make the tough call, the courageous hire, the unpopular firing, and the willingness to stand alone. If my goal at the end of the race is to just be loved I won’t have the boldness to do what is right for my flock or my organization, my ministry, even my family. During the leadership summit, Craig Groeschel asked an insightful question, “How do you become a leader that people love to follow?” This post is the fruit of that presentation.

So how do we become leaders that people love to follow?

There was a Forbes article. In that article Employers and employees were asked the same question, “What do employees need from a boss to become better?” Surprisingly, there is a big disconnect between what bosses’ think is important and what their employees expect and need.

The bosses were focused on 2 things.

  1. Better at finances
  2. Better at technology


Employees said 2 things…

  1. Leadership: Where are you taking me?
  2. Emotional Intelligence: How are you treating me?

Craig Groeschel said, “As a leader, there is a big difference between being respected and being popular. You may be popular if you are respected, but you will never be respected if you are only popular.”

If you have a desire to be the kind of leader your people love to follow you must create a culture that allows your people to flourish.

Three Things You Feel Under a Good Leader

  1. You feel valued

Often the issue with creating value in people is seeing them as God created them. We miss the true gems working alongside us. Here is a great illustration.

A story is told of a man who loved old books. He met an acquaintance who had just thrown away a Bible that had been stored in the attic of his ancestral home for generations. “I couldn’t read it,” the friend explained. “Somebody named Guten-something had printed it.” “Not Gutenberg!” the book lover exclaimed in horror. “That Bible was one of the first books ever printed. Why a copy just sold for over two million dollars!” His friend was unimpressed. “Mine wouldn’t have brought a dollar. Some fellow named Martin Luther had scribbled all over it in German.” – Our Daily Bread, June 7, 1994.

Craig Groeschel shared one way he shows value to his staff, Gold Star Friday. Every Friday, Craig gives members of his team little “gold stars” to let them know they are appreciated.

  • Appreciate people more than you should and then double it.
  • Some leaders will make you think that they are really important, but the best leaders will make you know that you are important.

Are you the kind of leader who undervalues your team? Are you missing the rare talent right under your nose?

  1. You feel inspired

There is a big difference between inspiration and motivation. While motivation is pushing people to do something they don’t want to do. When you inspire your team, you are drawing out of them what God has already placed there. Workers who describe themselves as inspired are twice as productive.

Key learnings from Craig, “Humility inspires. Pride discourages. Follow-through inspires. Be a leader who consistently does what you say you will do. Centered Leaders: The presence of a centered leader inspires. A centered leader is secure, stable, confident, guided by values, driven by purpose and obsessed with vision. Passion transforms a job into a calling. When passion meets inspirations, an obsession is born.”

  1. You feel empowered.

Empowering leaders know how to unleash the best in their team. You bring out the best in your teams and get higher performance through empowerment, not command and control. “You can have control, or you can have growth. But you cannot have both.” Leaders need to learn to delegate authority, not just give people more tasks. Allow your people ownership of the ministries they are tasked to oversee and sit back and watch your people soar. Give them freedom, allow them to fail. We celebrated failure in my congregation. Through failure, we grew and developed trust, and had no fear of innovation.

Best quote on this by Craig Groeschel, “If you don’t trust your team, you’re either too controlling or you have the wrong people, either way, the problem is yours to solve.”

8 Comments on “Three Steps to​ Become a Leader Your People Love to Follow

  1. Can I first start off by saying, God bless you for this outstanding post. You hit it right on target. Many leaders truly fall short of this vital aspect of leadership. It’s not just about bossing people around, claiming a title, or having people follow you. Being a leader for the Lords people has purpose and always bring God glory. You sacrifice yourself to be selfless. And you too as a leader, at times will fall short. God trains us to be leaders and it’s not an easy training, but it strengthens me into the person God has called me to be. Thank you dearly for this post.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for sharing this post. It’s interesting how much talk and books courses on how to be effective leaders yet so many people get it wrong. I reckon if we are leaders in some way, if only we realised this.

    Also imagine if everyone we came into contact with we saw them as people made in Gods image, and we communicated by the way we lead and treated them that they are wonderfully made.

    The world would be a different place. Lots to take away from this post


  3. As a pastor now, but before I was a pastor and self employed, serving the needs of those around me was a learned, but valuable lesson. Adding value by the service I was providing to those around me ensured that they were getting more than what they wanted, they were getting what they needed as well. God gifts His church with gifted people and how we (pastors) encourage and nurture (adding value), their participation will add value to ministry fruitfulness. Helping our congregations ‘dream bigger’ for our Lord’s Kingdom also goes a long way to employing the gifts we have and filing our lives with purposes beyond that which we could ask or hope! Good stuff!


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