Have you read the Brand Gap by Marty Neumeier yet? In it Mr. Neumeier says that your brand is not what YOU say it is, it’s what THEY say it is. (THEY being your consumers.)
It’s the same with leadership. Just because YOU say you are a leader or your business card says you are, does not make you a leader. Just because you have thousands of followers on Twitter or on your super-spiffy NING network, that does not make you a leader. You may be the CEO of a corporation with over 10,000 employees and you might not be a leader. You are only a leader if your followers say you are. If your followers love you and respect you, only then are you a leader.
A leader attracts others with kindness and self-sacrifice. This attraction is magnetic. It is atomic.
A true leader will always put his followers’ interests before his own.
Are you a leader? If you can answer that definitively, you most likely are not.
So then, what are the characteristics of a true follower?