In this 21 part series, based on John Maxwell’s book The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, I’m taking you on a journey towards better leadership. I share with you my own leadership lessons and insights. As a John Maxwell Team Member I’ll be happy to bring a transformational leadership training to your team or organization. See the details below.
Part 14 of 21: The Law of Buy-In
The Law of Buy-In: People buy into the leader, then the vision. ~ John C. Maxwell
Previous law was about the vision. We discussed the importance of vision in leadership as well as importance of leader carrying the vision and setting the example for followers.
Today we’re moving ahead as we look at the reason why people don’t buy into your vision. We’ve all seen it. In politics, churches, work places, marriages, causes, basically in every area of our lives. Sometimes leaders have a strong vision, they even step up and set the example, but their vision or example don’t move others to action or change.
Many people have it backward. They believe that if the cause is good enough, people will automatically buy into it and follow. But that’s not how it works. People don’t follow worthy causes. They follow worthy leaders who promote causes they can believe in. People buy into the leader first, then the leader’s vision.People buy into the leader first, then the leader's vision. Click To Tweet
Every message that people receive is filtered through the messenger who delivers it. If you consider the messenger to be credible, then you believe the message has value.
No matter, how hard you try, you can’t separate leaders from the causes they promote. The two always go together. Let’s look at four possible scenarios and what you need to do to resolve them.
1. When followers don’t like the leader or the vision
The only time people will follow a leader they don’t like with a vision they don’t believe in is when the leader has some form of leverage. This is common in totalitarian regimes, whether we talk about countries, corporations or families. If ‘leader’ uses violence, fear or holds off the paycheque, people will have no other choice than to follow. But even in this scenario many will start looking for other leaders to follow.
2. When followers don’t like the leader but they do like the vision
Even though people may think a cause is good, if they don’t like the leader, they will go out and find another one. Great ideas fell apart because the leaders failed. People just can’t buy into the vision without first buying into the leader. It’s oxymoron. If enough politicians understood this principle, our many countries would be in better shapes. Stop trying to get people to like your vision. Start getting them to like YOU!Stop trying to get people to like your vision. Start getting them to like YOU! Click To Tweet
3. When followers like the leader but not the vision
In this scenario, people react in many ways. Sometimes they work to convince their leader to change the vision. Sometimes they abandon their point of view and adopt their leader’s. Other times they find a compromise. But as long as they still buy into the leader, they rarely reject him. They will keep following. I believe that every country has experienced this. We’ve all seen leaders whose vision is simply wrong. Yet, they still have followers who buy into them and therefore overlook the weaknesses of their vision.
4. When followers like the leader and the vision
This is a powerful place to be at. When this happens, people will follow their leader no matter how bad conditions get or how much the odds are against them. If you manage to get to this position, where people like you and they like your cause, you will be in for a long-run.
Having a great vision and a worthy cause is not enough to get people to follow you. You have to become a better leader; you must get your people to buy into you.
Look at your existing credibility with those who follow you. What can you do to increase the buy-in? What do you need to do to improve this connection? Answer questions, connect with the right people, go back to other laws of leadership and see where YOU need to improve. But most importantly, start producing results.
Once people see you walking from one success to another, you will have proven track. Build up your change. Improve your character. Increase your leadership lid. Become a person others can trust. It doesn’t happen overnight. It takes commitment, time and perseverance. But it always pays off at the end. Choose to do something DAILY to move forward toward becoming a better leader and you WILL increase your influence.
If you are ready to improve as a leader, I’d be honored to help you on this journey.
If you’re an individual, you will want to join my Impact Academy, where I work with individuals from around the globe helping them to improve their leadership and results.
If you’re part of a team and want to step on this journey alongside of your team, contact me here to let me know about your team’s needs. I’ll be happy to offer a customized training based on your team’s needs.
This article is part of a 21-part leadership series.
To your success,
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