Are you a Leader Worth Following?

Picture by Andreas Eriksson

I often ask myself what makes a leader worth following? What makes a leader worth listening to? The answer is not clear, nor easy. There are many things that make a leader worth following, and worth listening to, I will mention five things that in my experience make a leader worth following.

1. Faith: we live in an era that makes it a taboo to talk about a leader’s faith, but I think it is critical to understand a leader’s faith, it tells us a lot about his/her leadership style and about his priorities in life. I’m a true believer that a leader faith at work and home are synonymous. You cannot be a righteous person at home and a crooked person at work. Chik-fil-A founder’s faith was so apparent on his leadership style, S. Truett Cathy values were so clear, his Sunday policy was non-negotiable. He felt that Sunday is a day for worship and for the family. His priorities were obvious. What do you stand for?

2. Family: many companies require their employees to spend most of their time at work, and they pay little attention to their employees’ family. Few leaders attempt to create a family-like environment at work, they foster trust, transparency, and conflict. Creating a family-like environment at work is not sufficient, great leaders care about their employee’s families and they encourage their employees to spend more time at home. Our families are the cornerstone of our life, and any leader who cares about your family, it is a leader worth following.

3. Friends: You cannot live a happy life if you do not have a good support system around you. A good support system consists of a good family and good friends. Pay attention to your friends, care about them, and if they need help, do not ask them, just help them. I pay close attention to how much a leader values his friendships. Great leaders encourage people to have friends at work and at home, but they do not force employees to be friends, they understand that healthy relationships cannot be forced.

4. Health: we all know that Steve Jobs was a great leader but few of us know that he tried to beat cancer with alternative medicine. Steve Jobs did not take care of his mental or physical health and we lost him very early. Your performance shall not be your only focus, learn how to take care of your health. It is the most critical aspect of your life.

5. Career: Your priorities shall be defined; your values shall be spelled out. Your team shall have no doubt where you stand on most issues. Empower them by letting them know that your care about your faith, family, friends, and health and they should care about theirs too.

I will follow any leader that care about his faith, family, friends, health and career. Will you? These five critical values define my leadership style and priorities, what are the values that define your leadership style?