Many people will balk at the idea that they are a leader while many others balk at the idea that they are a follower. So, let’s start with this… YOU’RE BOTH!
Every single thing you do today, or don’t do, will in one fashion or another, influence and lead others! EVERYTHING! In our daily lives we will influence both the people we know and also people that we have no idea are even affected! Where and how we lead them happens each and every instant and is completely up to us.
A misconception that we have about leadership is that it always happens from the front, right? The picture of General George S. Patton on his beautiful white horse leading row after row of tanks and men into battle. Yep, that’s one way to lead but leadership is needed and happens everywhere. It doesn’t matter if you’re the boss, a middle manager, secretary or just started in the mailroom, all of you are required to lead. From the head of our household to the kids all lead in their own way and we all follow each other in our own way too.
Now where there are leaders there are also followers, right? If you believe you can lead from the front, you should be able to lead from the pack too! Because we strive to be a good leader should mean we also strive to be a good follower too! In other words, just as there are good and bad leaders, there are also good and bad followers. My Dad would tell me “To be proud of who you are, you need to be proud of what you’ve done!”
Being a leader can be scary and isolating, so can being a follower.
Being a follower can be the same.
Being a leader can also be satisfying and enveloped by inspiration.
Again, the same for followers.
All of this comes down to being aware, doesn’t it? If we are more aware when we are leading, we will be better leaders and do more good in the world. If we are more aware as we are following, we will be better followers and make better judgements about who we follow and why. Be more aware of if others are being aware. (That’s kind of confusing, so if you need to read that sentence over A few times, I’ll understand.) Be more aware of if others are being aware. If you see those around you not being aware, do your best to bring them along. Some will follow you and some won’t. But, that’s all a good leader/follower can expect!