One of the premier experts on the topic of leadership is author and speaker Dr. John Maxwell. He breaks down the critical fundamentals of leadership into easy-to-understand language and presents concepts that can be adopted to enhance your leadership presence. I highly recommend that you read “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership.” It is my favorite of his books and I have found it to be of great use to me in my career.
Of his 21 Laws of Leadership, the one that has always resonated with me is Law #14, The Law of Buy-in.
The idea behind this law is simply….people buy into the leader, then the vision. Dr. Maxwell explains it best in his own words, “Many people who approach the area of vision in leadership have it all backward. They believe that if the cause is good enough, people will automatically buy into it and follow. But that’s not how leadership really works. People don’t at first follow worthy causes. The follow worthy leaders who promote causes that can believe in. People buy into the leader first, then the leader’s vision.”
Take a look at the photo above this article. George Washington and Abraham Lincoln are universally well know and highly respected leaders in American history. They clearly had a vision of what our country should become, but before they were able to implement their plans, they had to become highly successful at convincing the public that they were the right messenger to deliver their controversial message.
Run through your list of the highly impactful leaders in your personal and work life, I am very confident that you first believed in the person and their attributes, before you could hear and support their vision.
The challenge for you and I in our roles as business leaders is to subordinate our ingrained urgent instinct to aggressively push our agenda and work on implementation, before we make sure that our colleagues and teammates will support us.
Here are three other quotes that support the law of buy-in:
“They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Theodore Roosevelt
“To lead the people, walk behind them.” Lau Tzo
“The best and most successful commanders are those who win the respect, confidence, and affection of their subordinates by justice, and firmness, tempered by kindness.” General John Schofield
John Maxwell is an amazing oracle for the truths about being an influential leader. Read The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership and work hard to allow his ideas to mold your leadership style. If you are designated a leader by your company, you have an obligation to be very good. The long-term success of your business depends on it. And guess what, your people are watching!
I hope this post made you think about the law of buy-in. If you are interested in additional ideas to help you grow and prosper, click here and read my other blog posts.