Moving through complexity is not easy for the leader or the follower. both get stretched in the process. Still, there are things leaders can do to help all involved stay engaged, focused and effective.
First, constantly check for understanding rather than awareness amongst the followers. Leading and following through complexity is an iterative process, a process in which repetition of a sequence of steps and key information yields results successively closer to the desired result. The key in the beginning, the middle and the end is to not create information overload, which is a normal situation for leaders and followers. We can avoid this situation when we assist all involved in seeing how what we are doing now will assist them in what they will be doing later on. In essence, we as leaders need to help people connect the dots between today’s decisions and actions, and tomorrow’s results.
Second, we must consistently set up the follower for short term wins. I can not emphasize enough how important this is in the building of confidence, clarity, and competence in the life of the follower. We also must praise often when the follower gets it right. By reinforcing right action, we also are reinforcing right thinking which again boasts confidence and competence.
In short, always remember that success breeds success, and confidence breeds commitment.