One of the reasons that I chose to work with The John Maxwell Team is John’s fundamental view on leadership. John will tell you that EVERYTHING rises and falls on leadership. Our leadership ability determines our level of effectiveness in everything we do. We will only ever be as successful as our ability to lead. (Law of the Lid, 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership)

So what is leadership? I love John’s definition: Simply put, leadership is influence. Nothing more. Nothing less.

There’s an old saying, “it’s lonely at the top.” If you get to the top of your business or organization and you’re alone – you’ve done it wrong…and I wouldn’t get too comfortable because you’re probably not long for that world.

Effective leaders have followers. There’s a difference in subordinates and true followers. Followers have leaders. Subordinates have managers. A follower is behind their leader because they believe in their leader’s mission, vision, and truly want to see everyone succeed. Subordinates follow because they have to, and there will always be a part of them that wants to see their “leader” fail. If the people on your team secretly want to see you fail – you’re doomed. Period.

So how do you turn subordinates into followers? Your influence. So how do you increase your level of influence? Your ability to influence people is a result of adding value to people. People will never care how much you know, until they know how much you care.

If you find yourself alone at the top – you’re not a leader…you’re a hiker.

It doesn’t matter what business you’re in – a company’s most appreciable asset (100% of the time) is its people. Love your people and they will love YOU! Support your people and they will support YOU! Believe in your people and they will believe in YOU!

There’s a reason that every time a professional or college sports team starts doing poorly they fire the coach; underperforming restaurants fire the general manager; radio stations fire the program director; etc. If your business is struggling…the FIRST thing to work on is your leadership. Improve your leadership and your business will follow. Every time.