How to Transform from a Follower into a Leader

Why leaders are pointy when they need to be

Leon Purton
Sep 9, 2019 · 6 min read
Picture from here

When the group needs someone to see around the corner, to find the way on an uncertain path, they need a person to lean forward into the less known. That person is brave enough to look, humble enough to realise they may not yet know, and diligent enough to work hard to find the answer everyone needs. At that time, the person who has leaned forward and found the way, fought for a path through the uncertainty. They will be the leader, and the group will follow.

Here’s the thing about leadership — it doesn’t really exist, well persist really, it is transient.

What do you mean, be pointy?

There are plenty of books out there about the rise of the generalist. David Epstien in his book ‘Range: Why Generalists triumph in a Specialist World’ espouses having broad interests and knowledge is more important than real depth of knowledge.

Image from here

So how do you get pointy?

I mentioned earlier, that you need to connect ideas, you need to spend time purposefully letting ideas percolate and getting new information. Just enough new information or new ideas to allow you to nudge in front of everyone else.

Deep Work

You can get that through deep work. My article on it resonated with some of you, Cal Newport believes, as do I, that Focus in the new IQ. In this case, situational leaders need to spend time doing work that is important, but not urgent. Focusing singularly on a problem or a body of information.

  1. Allow the problem to percolate; You need to plan, and you need an unfinished list. Let the problem mull over in your mind. An unfinished list will bubble away in your sub-conscious.
  2. Set the Scene; You need to find your flow state, find your flow triggers. I’ve worked out mine. But the most important thing is that you remove distraction, at least reduce. The old ‘author at the lake house’ is quintessential deep work.
  3. Finalise the Session. When you are in deep work you will lose track of time. When you reach the end of your blocked out time, you need to finalise the session and plan for the next one.

Idea Sex

James Altucher promoted the term in his Blog in 2012, but many have used it since. I must admit, it took me back when I first heard it, but it is true. The most famous inventions and ideas are mostly plagiarism and a dash of creativity. The creativity comes in the joining of the ideas.

Are you a pointy follower?

Found via Google here

What is it that you are uniquely suited to do?

Find that niche and work hard to add some knowledge and ideas in how it applies to your role.

The leaders, those that you consciously choose to follow, spend time working out what the shape of the next corner might be. Then purposefully trying to connect the ideas that will help the team. They try and look around the corner.

My challenge to you — work out how you can look around the corner. Work out what type of pointy you need to be. You can get there with knew knowledge gained through deep work, and then letting your ideas have time and space to mingle (idea sexy time).

Sparks Publication

An accumulation of ideas that provide an opportunity to…

Leon Purton

Written by

Inspired by life. Leadership, Growth, Personal Development. Engineer and Sports Enthusiast. Top Writer in Leadership leonpurton.com

Sparks Publication

An accumulation of ideas that provide an opportunity to transfer a spark from one persons mind, to another persons soul. Leadership, growth, productivity and personal development.

Leon Purton

Written by

Inspired by life. Leadership, Growth, Personal Development. Engineer and Sports Enthusiast. Top Writer in Leadership leonpurton.com

Sparks Publication

An accumulation of ideas that provide an opportunity to transfer a spark from one persons mind, to another persons soul. Leadership, growth, productivity and personal development.

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