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Following Seas: Those Behind Matter the Most

Leaders Should Focus On Their Followers

Looking at the picture behind me of this large warship at sea, you might wonder if I made a wrong turn... and intended to speak to the Navy League rather than the Conference Board. After all, what does a Navy Cruiser have to do with leadership development? And, you might be further mystified when I explain that the point of this picture isn't the big cruiser. It's the water- the wake around the ship.

Those of you who've studied Eastern culture understand that, while we in the West traditionally focus on the object, those in Eastern traditions focus on the field and see great meaning in what we might dismiss as "the background"... in this case, what's happening in the water.

To me, the wake of a ship is a fitting metaphor for Leadership in the 21st century. It represents the key attributes of the agile leader we need in today's world-a leader who creates a flow of talented and committed followers.

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