Most training courses and motivational materials are replete with leadership counsel and tips, but not all focus on the basic ingredient of leadership, which is FOLLOWERSHIP. I once read somewhere “That he, who should lead amongst you, should first be the chief servant”. How can one who has never served in any capacity or at any level understand what it means to be a servant leader?

Who is a follower? A follower is someone who ardently pursues the principle or vision of a given society or organization with an intention. The following are some attributes of an ardent follower.

1. HE SHOWS APPRECIATION TO HIS LEADERS WITHOUT EXPECTING ANYTHING IN RETURN:In today’s world of quick gratification, this might sound strange because naturally, man is selfish. If you disagree, I want to ask you a question, if your kid and his friend are trapped in a burning house, who will you go for first?

LESSON: A FOLLOWER IS SELFLESS AS THE HUNTER’S DOG IS TO THE MASTER.

2. LOYALTY: As a follower, your loyalty is to your leader. In an organization for instance, It is your duty to find out the vision and mission of the organization and what is expected of you, then you gear up yourself to fit into the big picture and add value to the organization. Loyalty also has to do with making positive impact. Sadly, today, you hardly find loyal staff. People work for pay and not with passion. If you are passionate about the organization where you work, you will stay and give your best even when you are not being paid. Let’s do a loyalty test.

Ask yourself, “IF MY EMPLOYER STOPS PAYING ME TODAY OR CUTS MY SALARY BY 50% DUE TO ECONOMIC HADRSHIP, WILL I STILL PUT IN THE SAME AMOUNT OF WORK, LIKE WHEN I WAS PAID FULL? If your answer is yes, well done. If not fuel your passion.

LESSON: THE HUNTER’S DOG IS LOYAL TO HIS MASTER EVEN IF IT’S BEATEN AND DENIED FOOD.

3. OBEDIENCE: Obedience is a matter of choice. It is a conscious conditioning of the human mind and the spirit to conform to the laid down rules and regulation of a given society or organization. Obedience can be based on incentives.

LESSON: THE HUNTER’S DOG IS OBEDIENT TO HIS MASTER’S CALL EVEN WITHOUT INCENTIVES.

4. HE IS TRUSTWORTHY: As a follower, or an employee, can your boss trust you to do your job when he is not around? Does he trust you to fly the flag of the organization high anywhere you go? Or does he need to issue threats of sack or offer you incentives before you perform?Trust is a basic factor of life. Trust is earned. You have to prove yourself worthy to be trusted. Can the society or the organization trust you with its finance?

LESSON: THE HUNTER’S DOG IS TRUSTWORTHY, THAT IS WHY ITS MASTER ENTRUSTS IT WITH THE SAFETY OF HIS HOUSEHOLD AND EVEN ALLOWS IT BY HIS SIDE ALWAYS.

5. HE IS A DEFENDER: An ardent follower is always ready to defend the integrity of his nation, organization or employer anywhere you go. Do not be the one to tear down the fabrics of your organization or nation with your words or actions.Be ready to defend the integrity of your country especially, when it will cost you something. By defending the integrity, I mean being a symbol of what your country or organization stands for.

LESSON: THE HUNTER’S DOG DEFENDS HIS MASTER WITH HIS LIFE, WHEN THE NEED ARISES.

6. RELATIONSHIP BUILDER: Effective communication is a requirement for fostering cordial relationships in every sphere of life.Respect begets respect, criticism begets resentment. Respectfully air your views and constructively communicate your disagreement. Disagreements, if properly handled will not degenerate into arguments.Always smile when presenting your points. A smiling face calms a boiling heart. When you smile, you send a signal of peace to your body system and to those listening to you. Also, watch your body language, it can send the wrong signals.

LESSON: THE HUNTER’S DOG IS A FRIEND TO EVERY MEMBER OF THE HUNTER’S FAMILY