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Chief Troublemaker Asks: People Are Ready to Follow but Are You Ready to Lead?

by Jill Foster on April 30, 2009

I’ve been thinking about the terminology that we use to describe our relationships on various social networks. I “follow” people on Twitter and people “follow” me back. I have “friends” on Facebook. I am “linked” to people on LinkedIn. The “follow” relationship is the one I find most fascinating.

When you “follow” someone, you:

  • Accept them as a guide or leader
  • Imitate or follow their example
  • Watch their movement or progress

While I understand that my “followers” on Twitter probably don’t see me as a leader, there are certainly people on Twitter who I “follow” because I consider them thought leaders and I want to know what they’re reading and thinking. Think about it. We never say that we “follow” a Web site, company or newsletter, but we do say that we “follow” someone’s blog. I know I consider it a high compliment when someone tells me that they “follow” my blog.

In the book Tribes, marketing guru Seth Godin tells us it’s human nature to want to be part of a group that shares a common passion and recognizes the same leader; in other words, most of us want to be part of a tribe. Further, Seth believes that using the Web and social networking tools, everyone can now find or assemble a tribe and lead it.

So I say to each of you and your organizations: People want to follow, are you ready to lead?

[Post and graphic were cross-posted from the Matrix Files with permission from J. Pineda]

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Founder/CEO and self-proclaimed Chief Troublemaker of Matrix Group International Joanna Pineda is a Women Grow Business enthusiast. She is known for her visionary big-picture thinking and drive for excellence. Combining her broad liberal arts background and passion for technology, she started Matrix Group in 1999, today a leading interactive agency. As a trusted advisor, Joanna inspires and motivates her clients and employees alike to simply, “be better” with her mantra being: Do or Do Not. There is no try!

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