I am going through a book by Napoleon Hill, and his comments on leadership seemed to be appropro for this forum:
"It is not disgrace to be a follower. On the other hand, it is no credit to remain a follower. Most great leaders began in the capacity of followers. They became great leaders because they were intelligent followers. With few exceptions, the man who cannot follow a leader intelligently cannot become an efficient leader. The man who can follow a leader most efficiently is usually the man who develops into leadership most rapidly. An intelligent follower has many advantages, among them the opportunity to acquire knowledge from his leader.
The Major Attributes of Leadership.
The following are important factors of leadership:
1. Unwavering courage based upon knowledge of self, and of one's occupation. No follower wishes to be dominated by a leader who lacks self-confidence and courage. No intelligent follower will be dominated by such a leader very long.
2. Self-control. The man who cannot control himself can never control others. Self-control sets a mighty example for one's followers, which the more intelligent will emulate.
3. A keen sense of justice. Without a sense of fairness and justice no leader can command and retain the respect of his followers.
4. Definiteness of decision. The man who wavers in his decisions shows that he is not sure of himself cannot lead others successfully.
5. Definiteness of plans. The successful leader must plan his work and work his plan. A leader who moves by guesswork without practical definite plans is comparable to a ship without a rudder. Sooner or later he will land on the rocks.
6. The habit of doing more than paid for. One of the penalties of leadership is the necessity of willingness on the part of the leader to do more than he requires of his followers.
7. A pleasing personality. No slovenly, careless person can become a successful leader. Leadership calls for respect. Followers will not respect a leader who does not grade high on all of the factors of a pleasing personality.
8. Sympathy and understanding. The successful leader must be in sympathy with his followers. Moreover, he must understand them and their problems.
9. Mastery of detail. Successful leadership calls for mastery of the details of the leader's position.
10. Willingness to assume full responsibility. The successful leader must be willing to assume responsibility for the mistakes and the shortcomings of his followers. If he tries to shift this responsibility, he will not remain the leader. If one of his followers makes a mistake and shows himself incompetent, the leader must consider that it is he who failed.
11. Cooperation. The successful leader must understand and apply the principle of cooperative effort and be able to induce his followers to do the same. Leadership calls for power, and power calls for copperation."