Written by From Staff Reports Monday, 13 May 2013 00:00
Building Future Leaders
by Dennis Hooper
May 13, 2013 – When I have the privilege of initial conversations with leaders, I often ask, “Do you lead followers, or do you lead leaders?” After a typically uneasy pause and a somewhat confused look, the response is usually something like, “Followers. Of course I lead followers.”
I then ask, “How would their behaviors be different if you led leaders instead of followers?” Another awkward pause ends with thoughtful imaginations about the sizable improvement that might exist.
A final follow-up question: “How would your behaviors be different if you led leaders instead of leading followers?” Another uncomfortable and slightly embarrassed silence typically yields to thoughts of sharing more information and gathering more input on critical decisions.
My final thought-provoking question is, “Considering the current culture of your organization, would it be easier for those under your authority to change their behavior, or could you change your behaviors more easily?”
Think about those questions for yourself. They obviously bring up questions about the meaning of “leadership” and “following.” Further, they likely cause you to think in a different way about the influence you have on establishing the culture of your organization.
I had the experience recently of thinking in a fresh way about the overlapping roles of followers and leaders. The facilitator at a recent seminar shared an intriguing three-minute video. To shake your perspective in a productive and beneficial way, please look at this website where a creative entrepreneur named Derek Sivers narrated this video: sivers.org/ff
The video itself (filmed originally by Michael Hughes and posted on youtube.com) is of a dancing man who initiates a movement at a rock concert, but Derek’s analysis is worthy of study by any leader. For the rest of this article, I want to highlight some gems of information taken from Derek’s narrative.
The first follower serves a crucial role. The first follower courageously shows others how to follow. Subsequent followers emulate the first followers more than they do the leader. Being a first follower is a very under-appreciated form of leadership.
The leader embraces the first follower as an equal. It’s no longer about the leader and a creative, unique idea. The welcome collaboration between the leader and the first follower puts the focus now on the joint effort, not on either individual. The concept becomes the attraction, and the leader and first follower merely facilitate the involvement of additional interested individuals.
The second follower is the tipping point. Notice that the first two individuals invite others to join in. Had the effort been exclusive, subsequent followers would not have felt welcome. However, the receptive environment builds momentum as more individuals choose to engage in the effort.
This video and its narration helped me understand my role over thirty years. I was never the visionary, but I was an excellent “vision runner.” In terms of this video, I was the “first follower.”
If you are typically a “first follower” or a “vision runner,” be inspired by your unique contributions as you contemplate this video. You may rarely receive accolades, but your leadership role is crucial!
If you are a visionary, learn in a fresh way the importance of welcoming those who join with you to make your ventures successful. Express intentional appreciation to your “first followers” and “vision runners,” as they likely feel undervalued much of the time.
For more on this concept, visit my website, click on the “Article Archives” page, and scroll down to the article entitled “Visionaries and Vision Runners.” And please know that I welcome your comments.
Written by From Staff Reports Friday, 03 May 2013 00:00
By Sen. Buddy Carter
May 3, 2013 – Some of my fondest memories of growing up in coastal Georgia are of going fishing with my dad.
While I enjoyed fresh water fishing, my favorite was salt water. I remember studying the tide charts in the paper and hoping that the right tide would coincide with his days off.
I grew up in west Chatham County and therefore it was closer for us to go fishing in South Carolina near Hilton Head Island. I remember I always had to add one hour to the tide charts in the Savannah paper for the correct South Carolina tides.
Although we fished year round, the fall of the year was the best time for us.
When we would leave our home in Port Wentworth, my dad would always tell me to look and see which way the smoke in the neighboring paper mill’s smokestack was blowing. If the northeast wind was blowing, we knew we were probably not going to do as well since the tide would not be able to get fully out of the marsh.
We would mainly catch trout and spot-tailed bass. It was only years later that I learned that a spot-tailed bass was actually called a red drum or redfish.
It really didn’t matter what they were called, all I knew was that they really put up a fight and they were loads of fun to catch.
It’s because of these childhood memories that I chose to sponsor HB 36 in the Senate this year.
HB 36, which was sponsored in the House by Rep. Ben Watson (R-Savannah) and passed both chambers overwhelmingly, provides game fish status for red drum.
Red drum was designated as a game fish in federal waters by President George W. Bush.
In South Carolina and Florida, red drum is classified as a game fish.
Designation as a game fish means the species can not be sold and can only be legally taken by means of pole and line.
As the population of the red drum begins to dwindle, it is important that we put safeguards in place to ensure this specie’s viability in order for future generations to enjoy and experience.
Currently, there are 31 species of freshwater fish of recreational importance that are classified as game fish. If signed into law by Gov. Nathan Deal as expected, red drum will become the first saltwater fish in Georgia to be designated as a game fish. The red drum is already designated as the state saltwater fish of Georgia.
If not classified as game fish, species may be taken by bow and arrow, cast nets, seines and other fishing gear. For species such as the red drum, where the harvest is regulated by a 14-23 inch slot length and a daily possession limit of 5 fish, this can be a big problem.
Without HB 36, when the commercial sale of red drum was permitted, it is believed a “black market,” in which red drum were illegally captured and sold to the public on a wide scale, existed. In fact, over the past five years, annual reported sales of red drum have been less than 500 pounds.
A proposed amendment to HB 36 that would allow 10% of the total pounds of red drum caught annually to be sold by licensed seafood dealers, was not considered as it was felt that farm-raised red drum from Texas and wild-caught red drum from North Carolina that can be legally sold in Georgia would satisfy consumer demand.
Coastal fishing contributes nearly $500 million per year to our coastal communities. More than 150 professional fishing guides depend on a growing and productive fishery to sustain their business.
Protecting the red drum by designating this species a game fish as HB 36 does, will help ensure the economic viability of our coast.
More importantly, HB 36 will help to protect the spot-tailed bass. It will help a boy learn how to read a tide chart, how to tell which way the wind is blowing by looking at a smokestack and create memories that will last a lifetime.
Sen. Buddy Carter can be reached at 421-B State Capitol, Atlanta, GA, 30334. His Capitol office number is 404-656-5109. You can connect with him on Facebook at facebook.com/buddycarterga or follow him on Twitter @Buddy_Carter.