Follow the Leader

Musings (i.e. notes and thoughts) on leadership…

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There are lots of people that either lead because no one else will or else will not lead at all. And there are others that have an inability to follow and so must always feel that they’re at the top, calling the shots, leading… even when they really aren’t, they have a need to feel like they are.

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In a way, I never wanted to lead…
“I remember people wanting me to take charge in group projects throughout most of my school years, and I remember resenting that they were placing that responsibility on my shoulders. I’m no ones bitch, but neither do I feel like I should have to be someone elses leader, be it with school, spirituality, my job, or whatever… I don’t fully understand why they won’t do it themselves, think for themselves, coordinate themselves.”
~Old (offline) Journal Entry (from who knows when…)

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There are plenty of options for someone in a position of leadership. Some involve being a crutch. Others involve showing how to act without a crutch. And still more dimensions of the process call for nurturing a desire to be angry at the crutch, to want to break it. You simply cannot be in a position of leadership without acting as one in certain ways and at certain times.

The question is how to enable others to walk without one… or at least, to walk with one without being a meager follower. To lead is not to allow followers to tag along, it’s to take adavantage of their inclination to follow in order to show them how to walk on their own, to enable or open their eyes to the choice they have to either walk with you or to walk without you.

Following is just something that’s tolerated in the interim, and it only goes away when no one new is interested in whatever cause, place, organization, or site being led. Dealing with it is a part of the price one pays in being aware of one’s own power and the power of others.

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In the end, in my case, I cannot get what I want unless I’m willing to lead in some form. I cannot see the change I want to see unless I am actively involved in affecting it… as with most things. The alternative is creating myself as a totally secluded, isolated island of a man, and even if such a feat were possible, it would come with a price I’m not willing to pay and would work against my own ambitions.

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