Churchill was a leader that the British people wanted to follow. But there are a lot of bad leaders in this world. So what makes people follow a leader? Maybe Gareth Jones, London Business School fellow, has the answer? Watch this short Harvard video with him outlining what gives leaders loyal followers:
The current lack of faith in leaders is lamentable. Gareth Jones is absolutely right when he states that “if we lose faith in our political and economic institutions, we are in deep trouble”, and adds that we need great performance from our leaders.
Effective leadership excite people to exceptional performance
His definition applies not only to businesses, but politics, schools, hospitals and all other areas of life.
Leadership has been studied for about 150 years, and according to Gareth Jones, mainly asked the wrong questions. It’s hence presumed that people who make it to the top are leaders.
So one thousand people were asked what they want from a leader alternatively what do the people they aspire to lead want from them as leaders. The result was the following four aspects:
- Authenticity – a real person they can trust
- Significance – that their leader appreciates the contribution they make
In other words, an effective leader should be an authentic, skillful role performer with the capacity to transform organisations and enrich lives. That kind of leader get followers, according to the study.
Do you agree with the result that community, authenticity, significance and excitement is what makes you follow a leader? If you are a leader, are those characteristics what makes people follow you? Or do you disagree with the results of the study? Are you of the opinion that we need to restore trust in leaders and leadership? Would it make a difference if they displayed the characteristics outlined? Or maybe you have a different opinion of what makes people follow a leader? And how would you restore trust in leaders?
Video: Harvard Business Review – Picture: MsSaraKelly