Sunday, June 26, 2011

Leader or Follower

Every day each of us has an opportunity to show who we are and what we stand for.  If we choose to do nothing then our end result will be nothing.  Along this journey, I have seen many individuals that fall into those categories; leader, follower, or observer.  Those that decide to do something lead and start a movement of sorts.  That movement can be as an individual or as a collective with a common goal. You may or may not be the leader, just the person with a great conceptual idea. 
The leader is the person that can help to guide this collective in a direction that will enable them to accomplish the goal.  They will lead by example, take the risks, set the task(s) and the parameters of which determine how to proceed.   A leader will take the initiative, consider the options and speak with the collective.  Those in the collective will follow your lead and thereby become your supportive network.  As the collective is building and preparing itself to the task(s) at hand, you’re seeking additional information, networking with others and gaining further insight.
A follower will just jump on the band wagon as it seems like “something to do”.  They don’t really understand the concept but want to be a part of something that is moving for a change of sorts.  They may not always comply with the forum or collective, but does partake in getting the task(s) done.  You need to realize that the follower may not be the most dependable person but they have given their support just the same.  They will go along just to get along, show up to be seen or not.  For me a follower is more of a groupie than a supporter.
A supporter will want to be actively involved.  They will ask questions, where can they assist, be at, what to do, how will this help, etc.  They maintain the focus of the goal in their sights and how the group is moving towards that goal.  They provide you with feedback, suggestions, help to network, making connections get the word out there.
Each of us has a role to play and none are worse than the other.  They all come with a different set of responsibilities and commitment.  Most people want to be the leader and those that aren’t think they can do a better job at it.  Everyone is quick to criticize, give their opinions, and pass judgment, until they walk in your shoes.  The role you play leads to the role you want providing information along the way.
We get taught lessons daily, are we open to the message in the lesson?  The message enables us to step back, regroup, fine tune and set out anew in whatever way we need to.  Leaders, followers or supporters don’t always succeed, but they stay the course.   Which are you?  Does it truly matter if your name is on the door or for you achieve success?  Always remember that end goal that made you stand up in the first place. Persistence and determination will get you there because someone is always watching seen and unseen.


  1. This is a really great post! I agree with each point yet I also realzied that as a volunteer, we may fulfill all of these roles simultaneously.

    We step into a leaderhip position the moment that stop complaining about a problem and take the action to solve it.

    Unless it is our charitable organization, we follow the vision and mission of the NPO.

    We support each other and those who are affected by the problem that need to be solved.

    As we take inspired action of service, we observe change taking place.

    Every person has an important role and makes a valuable contribution.

  2. So very true Kadena.
    The first step is yours to be made.

  3. Kadena has made some valuable points. I also believe that being a follow vs. leader can depend on the situation. At our place of employment, we may sometimes need to be a follower and lead with ideas to help others. In our personal life we may assume we are leaders, and we may be; however, we may need to take our steps gently and follow what our mentor may see in us in order to move foward.

    Great post.

  4. Jewel,
    You're so right different roles depending on the situations we're in. It's okay to be what is needed at the time. what is important to be the best at whichever role you in.

  5. Excellent points. I do believe we take the position we are most comfortable with and go from their. I believe the cause, situation or organization may also determine whether you step up into leadership or take a back seat and follow the leader. Great article.