Whether you lead a large IT organization or you lead a small group of dedicated volunteers, there are four questions every follower will ask according to Dr. Lorne Sonny in the Business Ministry Journal as noted in Hans Finzel’s The Top Ten Mistakes Leaders Make (I couldn’t find a direct reference to Dr. Sonny’s work)
They are (Sonny’s questions are in bold; the rest are my follow up questions):
1. What am I supposed to do? Do your followers know what is expected of them? Do they see how their contributions will help the organization?
2. Will you let me do it? Do your followers feel like they have the freedom and authority to do what you’ve asked? Or do you micromanage and hold them back?
3. Will you help me when I need it? Everyone will need assistance at some point. Can they trust you to support their efforts?
4. Will you let me know how I’m doing? Followers want to know if they are doing a good job.
I’ve found these questions as important, if not more so, in volunteer organizations such as User Groups and Boy Scouts as in the workplace.
So, do your followers know the answer to these questions? If not, they will not follow you for long.