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Enlisting Others

"Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it." Dwight Eisenhower

"No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him." 2 Timothy 2:4

Extraordinary leadership is not about you. It's also not only about people following you. It's also not just about having a stellar vision. It's actually about others subscribing to a vision that they embrace and can successfully leverage without you. As the leader, you help people see, experience, and realize a better future that they want to accomplish. Therefore, leaders know how to enlist others in a vision greater than themselves that may never be entirely achieved. Here are some fundamental principles leaders understand about enlisting others.

Four fundamental principles of health

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Principle One: Followers select leaders.
Those who follow a leader always voluntarily choose to follow. Leaders don't select followers, even though this may appear to be the case. And here are two compelling reasons followers select their leader. First, they articulated a vision that the follower embraced, which is a big deal because some leaders lack vision, have an unclear vision, or fail to cast a broad enough vision. People enlist to a cause greater than themselves which elicits an emotional connection to contribute positively to the world. Second, they select a leader because they see someone who was worth following. This is where the consistent character of the leader is essential. And when a leader casts compelling vision and exhibits consistent character, others enlist in what they say and who they are.

Principle Two: Leaders persuade.
Great leaders don't resort exclusively to command and demand; they persuade and influence. There's a tremendous difference. Command demands that we fall in line, but influence persuades us to follow of our own will. While there are times command and demand must be practiced, especially in life or death situations, a leader must also primarily understand the call to persuasion and influence. Leaders persuade people to work together, to achieve more, to reach for improbable goals, and to put personal interests aside. They essentially convince people to change their mind. And since changing people's minds is both an emotional and intellectual venture, persuasion is the predominate tool required to enlist others.

Principle Three: Leaders invest in people.
Remember, leadership is not about you, but instead, a cause others are enlisted in. Yet it is about you in that it's your responsibility is to invest in people so that they can successfully realize the vision they joined. You are a steward, not an owner of the vision, the process, and the people who live out that vision. As a steward, it's your primary responsibility to pour yourself into people so that they can realize the full potential of the vision they embrace, so the mission moves forward. But that only happens with a large amount of investment in others.

Principle Four: Leaders develop new competencies.
Competency in leadership is essential to enlisting others. Leaders advance in leadership by developing new competencies along the leadership path. While leadership is not all about skills, tactics, strategies, or a slew of other competencies, people won't enlist to follow incompetent people. There are amazing leaders in our world today, some who hit a leadership ceiling because they fail to develop new competencies. But exceptional leaders understand that there is always something new for them to learn. They have a keen and humble awareness that they don't know it all. They understand that their leadership needs constant honing and development. Remember, people choose to follow a leader. And they can also choose not to follow.

Vince Speaking 9

Vince Miller is a speaker, author, and mentor to men. He is an authentic and transparent leader who loves to communicate to audiences on the topics of mentorship, fathering, leadership and manhood. He has authored 16 books and small group curriculum for men and is the primary content creator of all Resolute materials. Contact Vince Miller here. His newest book is Thirty Virtues That Build A Man.

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