The sixth "F" I want to discuss is that of following. When I initially heard this word as one of the eight F's, I thought why do we want to help people be better followers? Then as I read what was meant by following, I realized it meant more than that. Yes, following means to learn how to follow others. It is important that we learn to do so. In a society that is failing to teach respect for authority, this is becoming more important to teach in our society. Look at our school systems. As a public school teacher, I see how the lack of respect for authority is destroying our schools and also our society. Another place to look at is our churches. I see a loss of respect for our pastors and elders (I know some pastors have done this themselves, but that is another topic all together). A third area that I see this problem is with our country (specifically speaking about the United States where I live). Even if I do not agree with the views of the elected President, it does not me that I should not have a respect for him. I believe that he was put in authority by God. The key is to respect an individual even if I do not agree with everything they believe to be true.
When we do not accept the God-appointed authority that is over us, it is hard for others to accept us in a leadership role. That is the second part to the word following. In order to influence those that follow us, we have to be able to show that we are able to follow someone else. Once we learn how to follow, we will be able to lead others. How is someone supposed to respect me as a leader and want to follow me if I am disrespectful and unwilling to follow someone else? I ruin the trust others have in me when I talk badly about someone else, especially when that other person is in authority over me.
I want to encourage you today, as well as myself, to focus on being a better follower. That doesn't mean to not think for ourselves. It means to learn how to show respect for others. It means to learn how to build trust in others. By doing so, we will create a larger and more influential following for ourselves. Then once we do that, we can help have a bigger impact on our community. Then we can start influencing beyond our community to our country and our world. God bless!