November 25, 2021

Why Others Will Love to Follow You

Over the years, I’ve met so many who would love to be far more influential.

The possibility (that we can sway others) drives many of us.
Often to distraction.

Yet there are uplifting stories of those who learned WHY Others Would Love to Follow Them. And HOW you and I can do the same.

And I love stories. Don’t you?
Like you… I have my favourites.

This is one of them.

Once upon a time…
In a galaxy far, far away (well, far-ish)…
Lived a young paraplanner.

Quietly spoken she was.

But sharp, sharp, sharp of mind.

She could see how the company culture of More, More and Even More was (literally) making people sick.

She could also see that the hard-working founder had no clue how to do things differently.
Not a clue, bless their cotton socks!

So, she embarked upon a daring journey.
Accompanied by a couple of colleagues.

First, she armed herself for the journey (as all Heroes-In-The-Making do).

She armed herself with a new way of getting colleagues to think more brilliantly and courageously…Particularly when in her presence.

She learned to create what is famously known as “A Thinking Environment”

She learned that the person with the most influence is not necessarily the person who ‘mouths off’ the most in a meeting.
Filling the airwaves with answers to their own questions.

She learned that – long term – the person with the most influence…
Is the person who asks the most piercing, insightful questions.
Uncomfortable questions about what’s staring a team in the face

She learned that the best questions for her team created answers to this:

“How can we develop an environment where people arrive on a Monday with a sense of joy and anticipation?”

(As opposed to “How do we make everybody wealthier… starting with us?”)

Because – as sure as eggs are eggs – you’ll struggle to find a client who doesn’t prefer to be served by a team who come to work with that sense of joy!

Finally, she learned to listen far more than she advised.
(And she’s a legendary adviser)

She saw that most of us are desperate to prove our worth and wisdom and superiority… by giving as much advice… as soon as we can.

But few of us recognise the trust we rapidly develop with clients and colleagues…
When we just shut up…
And learn to unlock the brilliant, precious mind and heart in front of us.

Guess what happened?

Go on.

Within a few short years she became the CEO.
That’s what.
She – and those who embarked on this journey with her – earned the right to lead.

They practiced what Steven R Covey called ‘Moral Leadership’.
And, pretty soon, it was clear that the whole team was only ever going to follow her.

Was it easy and painless?

But she and her colleagues paid the price.
They learned unusual skills… outside of financial planning.
And they did it.

They changed their world!

Good bedtime story, eh?
(Even better, because it’s true)

If you dared…
It could be your story too.