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Craig Groeschel: How to Become a Leader People Want to Follow

Craig Groeschel GLS18

In the opening session of the Global Leadership Summit Craig Groeschel encouraged the conference goers to be leaders people loved to follow.

He said polling shows that team members want to feel valued, inspired and empowered, and he offered three qualities leaders should develop to meet those needs.

1) A heart to care.

Groeschel suggested leaders use four words to help improve their ability to empathize: “I notice” and “you matter.” Leaders who tell their team members “I notice what you do and it matters to me” will create team members who want to follow.

He also encouraged leaders to show appreciation to develop a heart that cares. Groeschel said studies show the number one reason people leave organizations is because they don’t feel valued.  

His rule, show more appreciation than you think you should and then double it.

“It’s the difference between me-centered leadership and you-centered leadership,” Groeschel said. “Some leaders make you feel they are important. The best leaders make you feel important.”

2) A passion to inspire.

Groeschel recommends inspiration over motivation. He described motivation as pushing people to do something they don’t want to do. Inspiration is pulling something out of people that’s already there.

He referenced studies that show inspired workers produce twice as much because it transforms the job into a calling.

Groeschel’s recipe for inspiring team members is to be consistently empathetic, humble and centered.

He called the last point the most important.

“A centered leader is secure, stable, confident and fully engaged,” Groeschel said. They are “guided by values, driven by purpose and obsessed by mission.”

3) Willingness to empower.

“The best leaders unleash higher performance through empowerment, not command and control,” Groeschel advised.

To empower, Groeschel said leaders should delegate authority, not simply tasks. Delegating tasks creates followers. Delegating authority produces leaders.

“You lose great employees by not letting them soar,” Groeschel warned. “If you don’t trust your team you’re either too controlling or you have the wrong people.”

Groeschel’s final recommendation for being a leader people love to follow speaks more to integrity than competence. He said, “People would rather follow a leader who is real, rather than one is always right.”

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