Most clients I work with want to be leaders. They know the social and economic benefits of leadership. No matter the field, women are attracted to leaders, and people admire them and throw money at them. Almost everyone thinks of himself as a leader, but obviously, everyone can’t be a leader; some people have to be followers.
I can usually tell if a guy is a leader or follower using one simple test. This test seems to effectively predict if a guy is in charge of his life, which will spill over into him having a good job, many dating options, and usually a lot of friends and admirers.
What is the test?
Ask yourself this:
Do you spend your time, energy, and resources promoting something you are in charge of, or are your time, energy, and resources directed toward making another organization or person more successful?
What do I mean?
It’s common sense, but a true leader is concerned about leading. A follower is concerned about following. You are probably thinking, “well obviously.” But let’s look at exactly how people follow, and you may find out reasons why, despite your best intentions of being a leader, you’re really just following and promoting some other person or organization.
My question above gets at the heart of whether you’re actually leading or just think you are.
A lot of people think they are leaders, when in reality, their “leadership” is actually making the following people and entities more rich and famous than they already are: sports teams, bands/singers, businesses, religions, groups/organizations, etc.
I’m friends with some former Ohio State buckeye football players. They have pride in Ohio State, but they are concerned with their own causes and interests first. Ohio state fans give them money, time, and resources. They are the leaders. The people who spend thousands for Ohio State tickets, clothing, autographs, etc, are the followers, while the promoters, players, clothing company business owners, etc, are the real leaders. Famous athletes, like Tiger Woods (pictured), aren’t super-fans consuming a brand; they are the brand.
A friend of mine loves the Cincinnati Bengals (hey, nobody can be perfect like those of us who are Browns fans). Every year he gives his hard-earned money to buy season tickets. He dresses up for each game, and virtually all of his social media statuses are related to the Bengals. Guess what? The Bengals CEO probably doesn’t know who this guy even is, but he loves all the money and free advertising this guy sends his way.
Let’s compare these to a guy I know who owns his own business and started a networking company. His social media updates are funny and edgy. While he isn’t arrogantly bragging all the time, people follow him on social media because of him. People promote him, virally share his stuff, and want more of his time. At the end of the day, he worried about his own promotion, and his efforts bring people back to him and his business. If people badmouthed him, he’d let them know they were free to unfriend him because he had no attachment to collecting random followers (even though he has thousands).
Obviously, even a leader will have people and businesses he or she gives money and time to besides themselves. And, leaders have healthy and fun hobbies like following sports teams and bands, just in the right perspective. However, if most of your time and energy is spent mostly focusing on promoting other people and organizations, it’s no wonder you’re not really perceived as a leader.
Find something unique about you. Start a business. Find a hobby. Be known for you not a promoter of someone or something else.