Implications for Belonging and Leaders: Followership via authenticity

It is impossible to lead unless people are willing to follow. If you do not believe that what someone is saying is genuine then you will not follow them. Commitment beats compliance. We believe that people will do something because they want to, not just because they have to. Good leadership is not about status, it is about your status being perceived to be well-earned and instilling confidence throughout your organisation.

Javed Ahmed, Chief Executive of Tate & Lyle backs this up with his comments in the FRC’s report on culture and boards, he states, “As CEO, everything you say is amplified manifold and the say / do ratio is what really matters.”

If employees see leaders saying one thing and doing another, this will have a negative effect on their performance. If you do not live up to the values you set, and work in the way you’ve said is correct,why should the rest of your organisation do so.

There are a number of ways to be authentic in the eyes of your organisation. By always doing in practice what you say in policy you can show employees that you’ll see through your promises. By visiting the frontline you’ll let them know that when you talk about their daily business, you actually know what that entails. Belonging is about being a member. A leader employees believe in will drive a more positive member experience and therefore a more positive sense of belonging. One effective way for a leader to have strong followership from the start, is when they’ve risen through the ranks of the organsiation. From the first day employees throughout the business will know that their leader understands their daily challenges.