Monday, 14 March 2011

Are you being followed?

No I am not asking if you are paranoid!

Only as a leader, do you believe you have followers?
This is a very important question to ask, as unlike with Twitter, we can't easily tell if we do or do not have followers. So my advice to you as a leaders is to keep very close to your followers, understand them well and always make sure when you set off in a new direction, that you take them with you.
I say this based on bitter experience when I cocked up rather badly at the early stage of my career.
I was working for a company called Table Top in Cape Town and we had made the decision to move our head office to Johannesburg. I was the head of finance and admin and so was playing a big part in finding offices, and moving all our people and families.
I was excited about all the possibilities this move was going to open up to us, and with my usual energy and enthusiasm I was convincing the world that this was the greatest move ever. I was delighted when all of my staff agreed to move too, as setting up a finance team from scratch is a very painful job and best avoided.
In the months that followed I found a wonderful office in Rosebank just outside Johannesburg, set up to move all our accounting to the Johannesburg computer bureau and everything was going to plan was GOOD!!!

Then it happened, within each persons notice period, the whole of my finance team resigned! The beauty of Cape Town and the more relaxed life style had proved too much to give up, and I had been so busy chasing dreams that I had failed to spot the signs. The vision was my vision and not theirs, and yes to a person they all loved working for me, but that wasn't the point as it wasn't personal. They just thought Joeys was a crap place and Cape Town was too good to leave.

I missed it and stopped checking who was following me!!!!

Guess what .... I never did that again as my recovery from this disaster was brutal, but it was a wonderful lesson on leadership.

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