UNITED STATES—We have those in the world who are leaders and we have those in the world who are followers. I have always wondered why so many people are willing to follow a blind leader, when they have the capacity themselves to control their own fate. We may not realize that it’s not in the best position to be in a team setting when the benefit is more for one person than the group as a whole.
I feel we live in a world where so many Americans are focused on being followers than leaders, and it got me thinking, why is that? My gut reaction is many people don’t want to be placed in that situation where they are forced to lead a team. I mean let’s be honest having to lead a team is no easy task for most people. Even those who have developed the capable skills to do so even question those who are part of the team and rather at any given time that team can fall to pieces.
So what’s the difference between a good leader and a great leader? Fearlessness, charisma, drive, persuasion, oratory skills, and confidence are just a few standouts in my opinion. Most leaders possess these skills, but some elevate these skills to new heights. Particularly, charisma, which is an energy that exceeds all other energies, it’s not something I think a person can develop; you either have it or you don’t. I think another important skill is the power of persuasion. The ability to make someone think that your goals are their goals is no easy feat to accomplish.
If I had to pinpoint the perfect example of this, I’d say watch recent seasons of the CBS reality-competition series “Survivor” and “Big Brother.” These shows are both geared on competitions and the importance of strong social skills and the importance of a solid alliance. With any alliance, numbers are important, but there is always a ringleader in every alliance.
In the most recent season of “BB” we had poker player Vanessa who pulled some of the most epic blindsides that I can imagine, but did I consider her a leader? Not in any fashion, because she was such a loose cannon, yet everyone in that house followed her. If only those other houseguests had played their OWN game, maybe they would have had a chance at winning the game.
The same sentiment can be echoed in “Survivor” where people follow behind a sole person, unaware that their tactics could lead to their demise. Yes, these are both games, but they have some sort of relevance in the real world. Those who follow will never lead and those who lead always have flaws. What if we had more people who were willing to be leaders instead of being followers? Could you imagine the potential that people could tap into if people were willing to follow their own paths instead of those paved by so many others? We’d have a lot more people who are independent, fearless, confident, speaking skills and higher self-esteem.
I will be the first to admit that I’m not someone who will jump the gun to be a leader simply because I don’t want the responsibility of being held accountable if everything falls apart. However, what I’ve learned as I’ve gotten older is that I have and possess all the capable skills to be a voracious leader. That fear that used to enter my mindset at the drop of a penny has faded more and more. We all have the tendency to follow, but we all have the ability to lead. So why sit in the back when you can sit in the front?