40+FAB Blog

Practicing followership

One of the most important skills we can develop in life is that of leadership. The importance of it cannot be overemphasised. There is a biblical proverb that describes the enterprising nature of ants, who against all odds are very successful at surviving and even thriving in the harshest of conditions. It says that the ants have no ruler or overseer yet they are able to produce great results within the various seasons of the year.

This almost sounds like advice to discount the importance of leadership, but on the contrary it rather reinforces it. One of the big secrets of ants is that they are great at following. They follow one another, they follow a routine and a regimen, and they follow the guidance of seasons and their changes.

You see, the fundamental principle of leadership starts with followership. This is much like anything else we have learnt in life, we have to follow the experts to become competent ourselves, and the more intentionally we follow, the better we become.

One should never outgrow the place of followership, whether it is following others who have gone before us, ageless principles that are meant to guide us, or responding to the cyclical changes of times and seasons. The proverb on the ants doesn’t point out one leader possibly because they have all become a company of leaders.

Followership guarantees great leadership, and leadership guarantees great results.