Are You a Leader or a Follower?

A very commonly asked question in job interviews is, “Are you a leader or a follower?”

Many people say that they are leaders; thinking that this is the answer that interviewers are looking for.

However, if you don’t back up your answer with appropriate reasoning—what actually makes you a leader—the interviewer isn’t going believe you.

Here are a few things that differentiate leaders from followers:

leader or a follower

They Go the extra-mile

Leaders do not just do their jobs. In fact, they consider their job description to be the minimum expectations that their organization has of them. They constantly look for ways to add value and excel at what they do. This is why they constantly go the extra-mile and perform beyond expectations.

Followers on the other hand are content with completing their daily task. Doesn’t matter if they love their job or not, they will just perform according to their job description.

They’re Optimistic

Leaders are optimistic and constantly look for opportunities. They don’t dwell on limitations, but make the best use of the available resources to get things going. This is because they remain in control of situations they are involved in and have the confidence to influence outcomes.

Followers, on the other hand, are not in control of any situation and if adversities arise, they tend to focus on limitations.

They Embrace Change

Leaders see change as an opportunity to become better. In most situations, leaders are the ones that initiate change and get the maximum out of any situation.

Followers, on the other hand, see change as a threat and resist it as much as possible. They tend to feel safe with the way things and dislike any sort of disruption.

They Are Decisive

Followers are often hesitant in making tough decisions because they are not willing to accept responsibility of the outcome.

On the contrary, leaders remain positive when making tough calls, even if they aren’t sure about the outcome. They’d rather accept the consequences of a wrong decision than remain indecisive.

They Are Accountable

Leaders aren’t afraid to admit their fault and accept full accountability when things go wrong, whereas, followers are quick to blame.

They’re Self-motivated

Leaders do not need a title of “Manager” to lead. They are self-motivated to perform. They do not consider their job as something that they do, but as something that they are.

Followers are only motivated by carrot and stick. They always have their eyes on the next raise, higher title or possible punishment.

Next time when you are asked this question in the interview, you will know how to back up your answer with appropriate reasoning. Leadership is more than just management.