Follow The Leader…But Why?

trust2It’s been said that a leader doesn’t need followers. When you’re starting up a company though, you ain’t going to get far without convincing people to follow you.

At the beginning of 2014, Ormsby Street’s MD did just that. He approached five previous employees, all in secure jobs and got all five to join his start up venture.

I know why I said yes but I was intrigued by what it was that convinced the others, so I asked them. I was soon seeing some common responses, and from this I derived a core set of values that you could say define a good leader, or at least someone you would follow.

Trust

It’s common sense that people are unlikely to follow someone they don’t trust. Further than this though, when a leader trusts their team to get the job done without telling them how to do it, great results can be expected.

Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.” George Patton.

Honesty and Openness

There’s some magic in truth and honesty and openness.” Frank Ocean.

Not everyone mentioned this value, and not all leaders are 100% honest and open but having seen this attitude in a company from the outset, I can see the difference it makes. Everyone is secure in the fact that they are on the same page as everyone else and this makes for a nicely aligned attitude across the team. They also don’t need to worry about nasty surprises!

Respect

Everyone who joined the team has respect for Martin and this has been earned over time working for him. As the old adage goes, to earn respect, you have to give it and this goes hand in hand with the point about telling people what to do but respecting them enough to let them decide how to do it.

Belief/Passion

If the MD of a company doesn’t believe in what they are doing, why would anyone else? We were lucky enough to see someone who clearly believes in what they are doing and that it will work. This kind of belief is infectious and exciting. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of something that they can get excited and be passionate about?

From another angle, there is a lot to be said about being believed in. The fact that someone believes enough in you to ask you to join them in something they have a lot invested in is a big compliment.

Culture

Not so much a value but a way of doing things. I read a great article a while back about the importance of culture in a company and I couldn’t agree more with it. For me, above most things this was a very important factor when deciding to take the leap to Ormsby Street. I’d seen the culture of where I’d worked before and I knew that I could be a part of recreating that.

At the end of the day, who wants to spend the best part of every week in an environment where they can’t stand the culture?

Coffee

Bean to cup or the deal’s off.

So there you have it, that’s why we followed the leader.

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