Leadership Tensions: Fans vs. Followers

It’s time to pick back up on our Leadership Tensions series.  I thought I would kick off this year with the subject of Fans vs. Followers.

As a leader are your creating fans or followers?

Let’s look at the difference between the two:

Fans are fickle.  Followers are loyal.

Fans need to be coddled & catered to.  Followers need to be inspired & challenged.

Fans bail out when you have a bad day.  Followers stick with you through the good and bad.

Fans want to win so they give up on you when you lose.  Followers also want to win but they want to win together.

It’s human nature to want to be liked.  We long to belong.  As leaders, if we’re not aware of this need, we can subconsciously sacrifice leadership for acceptance.  Leadership is about leading people to a better reality, towards a future they don’t yet realize they need or want.  At times, that means making people uncomfortable.  If you’re more concerned about making people happy than taking them where they need to go, you will create fans.  If you’re committed to helping people achieve a better reality, you’ll be willing to lead them through discomfort.  In doing so you build loyal followers.

What are you creating?  Fans or followers?

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