I have seen an interesting thing in the last two years we've been using Twitter, Linkedin.com, and Facebook. EVERYONE is a leadership guru (which is interesting that I'm complaining about that as I write about leadership . . . ). Many "leaders" share how to be a great leader through 140 characters. Many "leaders" guide their followers on how to better oneself by being a great leader. If there are so many great leaders out there, why are our social cultures so screwy? Selfishness.
The leaders that have been documented as leaders through history were leaders for a reason outside themselves. Martin Luther King, Jr.; George Washington; Coach John Wooden. They all led to change society, the country, or just a group of young men that needed a mentor. They didn't need accolades, or "followers." They sought change in other individuals and that change occurred.
So, how to we everyday people that aren't King David or Saint Francis of Assisi lead to impact change? By Leading Backwards. If we are to be leaders, we must do so for the aid and success of others. If we are to make others successful, then we must know and understand what will make them successful. If we are to know what others need for success, we must know who they are. If we are to know who they are, we must listen. To be an effective leader, we must listen to others and then add value to them.
Remember, leadership is selfless (puts others first) and followership is selfishness (puts self first).