Leader or Follower?

Dare to be different!

Is there another alternative to being a leader or a follower? Can I be both or neither?

I am the youngest of five children and I familiar with being told what to do! Most times I find it easy to follow others – provided there is someone showing the way.

When I am with people who seemingly have no direction, I am happy to take the lead and get things rolling along. Even then, I am happy to hand over to others from that point onwards.

There is the option of consensus decision-making and this is my preferred way of operating. I learnt about this way through the Indigenous people I worked with in Northern Australia. Information and options are presented and then people go away and think about it and later come back together to talk about a way forward and try to resolve any opposition. This process cannot be rushed and once a decision is made, it has the support of the people.

I applied this method in a project I worked in a few years ago. It went against the grain of many of my colleagues. They said that I needed to show leadership by making the decisions, however I really did value their input into the process. The project was successful and I shared the success as a team effort.

I think our adversarial way of doing things has a lot to answer for.

I believe that poor leadership can be ego driven, such as – “I am in charge and I know what is best!” I am not afraid to approach such people and put my ideas forward, if I believe there is some chance of them being receptive. I am also happy to let people think that my ideas are THEIR ideas, if it leads to a good outcome.

What pleases me most is when I can sew a seed of an idea with someone and then see it grow. I don’t mind if they even forget where the idea came from. I know that I have played a part and most times, that is enough reward.





3 thoughts on “Leader or Follower?

  1. What an amazing perspective on leadership vs being a follower. I could say that I’ve been both. To be a leader seems cool at first but it has a lot of responsibilities and expectations. to be a follower, I may feel that my voice may not be heard sometimes but the stress is less. But I think what matters the most is being an active team player in any situation, to give your best, to be able to share and listen, to take a role with the best of our abilities in the hope that it will benefit the whole group. great post.

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