People don’t believe what you tell them.
They rarely believe what you show them.
They often believe what their friends tell them.
They always believe what they tell themselves.
What leaders do: they give people stories they can tell themselves. Stories about the future and about change.
from Tribes by Seth Godin
About a month ago I was reading through Tribes by Seth Godin and was really inspired by the above quotation. Godin has the ability to take concepts you think you already know and word them in a manner like you’ve never heard them before.
From a leadership perspective, I believe Godin hit the nail on the head. The common leadership thinking, whether you are completing a project or moving people from point A to point B, often places a leader in front of others, which supposedly results in his or her followers catching a vision and jumping on board. Yet, being a leader is not so simple.
If as leaders, we simply rely on our own credibility, platforms, convictions, or loud voices to instill change in the lives of others, then we may find ourselves sorely lacking in followers. A good leader is able to help his or her followers understand things about themselves they didn’t even know.
As someone who is being led and seeks to lead others, I will quickly get behind a leader who is helping me realize my personal responsibilities and coaching me to catch the bigger vision. On the other hand, I find myself shying away from leaders who just tell me what to do. I have often thought this was just a “generational thing” but am realizing it is much more of an “inspiration thing.” Thank you, Seth Godin.