Auburn University Libraries kicked off the celebration of 125 years of Auburn women with a lecture series from Joyce Gillie Gossom, author of "Why are they following me?."
Gossom began her event with an inside synopsis on her new book “Why are they following me?” where she dissected the leader-follower relationship.
Gossom's novel covers leadership and ways of successfully maintaining a healthy leader-follower relationship and friendship. “I’m not a guru on the subject of leadership, I’m just taking what I know from what I’ve experienced," Gossom said.
Gossom discussed topics including inclusion, vision, and character. With regards to inclusion, Gossom asked everyone to look at who is following them and note what these people are – how are they valued and what strengths do they individually provide. She said not everyone can be treated equally because everyone seeks different things.
Gossom encouraged her audience to find out who the people following them are as individuals and cater to that uniqueness.
“Why would people follow me?” Gossom said as she addressed the audience. In her response to her posed question, she said this is where vision, strategy and interpretation come into play.
Gossom said a leader that is able to see the potential in ideas is a visionary. Leaders who are able to map out the obstacles they might face and make a plan to avoid them are strategists. Someone to explain all these things to the followers is an interpreter.
Gossom said in order to be a good leader, one must
The next speaker in this lecture series will be Mallory Hagan. Hagan is an Auburn alum and was awarded Ms. America in 2013. Her lecture on Oct. 10 will focus on sexual abuse. More speakers will follow in the series including Auburn's own Ruthie Bolton, a 1990's Olympic gold medalist, and professional basketball player.