Leaders, like brands, pursue and cultiavte a perspective or image from their followers.
What makes a brand cool or loved?
According to a memo written by Amazon CEO Jeff brands like Apple, Nike, and Disney are loved and perceived as cool becasuse:
Risk taking is cool. Thinking big is cool. The unexpected is cool. Close-following is not cool.¹
Amazon is not cool. Amazon is dependable and trustworthy.
Leaders are much the same way. Many leaders would rather be viewed by their followers as being cool or being loved.
Many leaders will go out of their way to take risks, think big, do the unexpected, plunge ahead, and be very different from other leaders.
And maybe this is what some followers want.
But leadership is not about what followers want. It’s about what they need.
What most followers of a leader need is dependability and trust. If they happen to be cool and loved then all the better.
The more clearly we grasp who God is… the more our leadership can be shaped and directed accordingly. God is love, God is truth, and God is faithful. That may not be cool in a brand and it may not be what some leaders would pursue, but love, truth, and dependability make for good leadership.
It’s too bad more leaders don’t pursue trust and dependability and spend more time loving their followers than trying to get their followers to love them.
A leader owes much to their followers…but the first thing they owe their followers is to love them. And if followers love the leader back…then that is cool!