There are different kinds of people in your life. All these classes of people add value to your life on different levels and in different forms.
The first category of people, ‘SEERS’ add value to our lives by adding to our numbers. They are a numerical account of the people who have come across us in their lives and have a basic idea of what we do. They watch us and admire us from afar without the desire to know us and grow with us. They are however uninterested in investing in us or helping us take the next step forward. Seers simply want to know what you are up to at every point in time and they will acknowledge your existence but they are not loyal to you.
The next group of people we can find in our lives are the ‘KNOWERS’. Knowers take the next step to get information about who you are, what you are doing, as well as your mission and the relevance of it. They may engage you on different social media platforms or through attending your events, but they do not specifically engage you. Knowers are very easily turned into believers. They have a deep interest in you as a person and what you stand for, unlike seers who have a basic interest in what you do. Knowers are potential believers.
The last classification of people in your life are the ‘Believers’. Believers are a following you can get from the onset. These brackets of people may not know youand may not have seen you from anywhere. Nevertheless, just by engaging youthey will believe you. They engage you and establish a relationship with you, becoming loyal followers. Other believers may also graduate from being from Seers to Knowers and finally Believers. Most believers in our lives grow from the knowing stage based on our inspiration and engagement with them. They are few. But they are the ones you can grow as faithful followers to work with to create a legacy. This class of individuals invest in you by giving you their time, energy, money or knowledge.
All the 3 sets of people add value to our lives. Be it the Seer who just becomes a follower and adds to your numbers, the Knower with the potential of growing into a believer or the Believerwho stays loyal and will contribute in many forms.Although all these categories of people add value, believers are most important. To get someone to know you does not necessarily take a long time. Our ability to be able to discern and find our Knowers is the key to finding our Believers. Believers are the base of your personal impact or brand because they are consistent in your life, love and labor.
Leadership is not so much about leading with a title or leading by default.” A true leader is someone we follow not because we have to but because we want to”- Simon Sinek. You have to lead by design, by working on inspiring, informing and impacting your knowers to become believers and your believers to become more loyal. “There are many types of leaders – some who have a positive impact on their people, customers, organizations, and communities, and some who do not. Impactful leadership is about making long-lasting positive and meaningful contributions to their organizations and communities, and in the lives of people and the world.
Being an impactful leader does not have to do with the clothes you wear, the car you drive, or the way you look–not even with the way you speak. To be an impactful leader who stands out from the crowd, you must combine your mind and heart to lead and achieve sustainable goals that build lasting impact by genuinely and generously influencing people to believe, trust, and join in your vision.” (Inc, 2015)
Another goal you may have as a leader is to cure the ‘watching syndrome’ in your seers by getting them to see more in you than just standing afar and watching. Why then should people follow and believe in you on a peer level, superior level or as a competitor or an enemy? In business, tribes are often social groups linked by a leader, shared purpose or goal, common culture or organizational boundary. How can you build a tribe or a following of believers?
Commonality: The basis of any successful followership lies in the common interest the group of individuals under one umbrella have. As a leader, you have a vision and a mission for your life, work and business. To capture the attention of your followership, you will need to tell your story. The people who have similar stories, visions or dreams are the most likely to walk with you. Your connection with other people makes your vision bigger than yourself and scales up your mission to reach more. You do not need everyone to buy deeply into your interest. All you need is a sufficient number who will be devoted to pushing you in reaching the next step. Are you willing then to tell your real story and to be transparent enough to establish the needed connection with your believers? Remember that the Seers in your life who can relate with you will make the effort to know and understand what you stand for and in no time, they will be Believers!
Authenticity: It is pertinent that you are the realest and best version of yourself at every point in time. Being authentic is a daily conscious practice. We are required to stay true to the values we share with others. It is only then that our knowers can start to believe that our talk is our walk. Your believers do not necessarily need to trust you to follow you. What they need is a person that can stay true themselves and their values no matter the season. Your believers study your life, love and labour as a direction for their own lives.
Connectivity: The first step of getting your believers to connect with you is to have them hear your story. The second is to be an example by being what you preach. To be connected, you must be available, reachable and communicative. Believers like to be in constant engagement and see you show up when needed. This could be done by posting a message on your social media platforms and hosting events to enable them have a personal encounter with you.In the group of people who know what you will stand for, there are those who will be unfailingly devoted because they have a connection with you. These are your Believers! Words by Kofi Annan said “If you don’t have a relationship, you start from zero every time.” It is necessary that your entire being speaks for you and establishes a relationship with your Knowers to grow them as Believers. The basis of your leadership is to find and connect a group with similar interest that is disconnected yet with a yearning. “To be an effective leader in 21st century organizations requires an understanding of human development to navigate the different worldviews and belief systems that people inside the organization hold. Leaders must be able to make space for crucial conversations and embrace dichotomy on many dimensions. Organizations must be structured to develop their people, which, in turn, also benefits the company. The future generations of workers (millennials and Generation Z) are ready for new organizational models that offer meaning and purpose.” (Soren Eilertsen,2018)
Inspiration of Action: Robinson rightly said, “A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.” Believers inspire action and change through consistently and passionately expressing their commitment. You have the responsibility as a leader to inspire people to act. This can be done by consistently reminding your followers why they consistently and closely follow you. It is easy to get your followership to make a movement if they believe in what you believe in. First challenge the status quo, build a relatable culture, stimulate curiosity, connect the people and commit to the cause. Simon Sinek points out that,” the part of the brain that is responsible for our feelings—the limbic system—is also responsible for all human behaviour. Hence the reason people can know all the facts with someone and still “go with their gut”. Finding people who genuinely care about your mission can change your work or business’s culture from one that is driven by a desire to earn more money to one that is fueled by loyalty and passion.
It is not enough, in the words of the amazing Sheryl Sandberg, to ‘lean in’ for future-proofing our success, our businesses and our careers. As leaders who are taking teams into an uncertain future it is now about leaning out and collaborating with others. Because to lean out means to embrace and engage on an unforeseen aggregated level — where thinking bigger than ever before will bring rewards to a collective commercial mind.