Think for a moment about who you admire and respect. What is it about them that you value most? Now consider this: those qualities are probably qualities you have, and if not now then they are qualities you are actively developing. You become a leader by following those you admire.
Now think about someone who promotes themselves as a leader, or is in a position of authority, that you do not respect or admire. Are you able to see that person as a great follower? Do others really see them as a great leader?
What are the qualities or traits of a great follower? When a great follower brings a problem to a leader, they bring it with several possible solutions. Great followers know how to work hard and know if they are doing the right work. Flexibility in today’s work environment is a must; great followers adapt easily and well. The abilities to listen and to understand others are vital skills of a great follower.
Do you believe that creative thinking aka problem-solving, persistence aka hard work, flexibility, listening, and people skills are foundational skills of great leaders? Each of these skills serves to develop additional skills. A great leader is first a great follower; they understand, value, and appreciate each person with whom they interact.
A great coach is a great follower, and a great coach believes that each person is their own best expert, so they empower others to lead.