Wednesday, March 25, 2015
I Will Follow Him
As I found my way into different and more diverse tribes, I've been able to let others walk in front. To both follow and trade off that leadership role.
I've heard the phrase, "Lead, follow or get the hell out of the way." Growing up with so much uncertainty seemed to build in me that sense of grab the reigns first. I wonder why that is? I wonder why I picked get out in front? I guess it felt safer.
I once followed a man who started to jay walk across a street. I stopped after he nearly got hit by a car. As I got myself back onto the curb, I told myself to be the decision maker. At least if I was going to be in trouble, I wanted to know how I got there. I felt that was easier to backtrack to where *I* went wrong.
In high school, I instigated adventures and tried to direct the energy of my buddies. During the math class card game, I preferred to have the cards so I could see the question easier.
Though I did like to be part of the group in things like choir or drama class. Partly because I didn't view myself as the most talented and therefor questioned my own right to lead.
As far as getting out of the way, I think we often forget about the value of the bystander. That is not to say that people get a pass for watching bullies prey on the vulnerable, but I see no reason why everyone should be directly involved in leadership or participation following.
Sometimes those outside a group can have an amazing perspective. They can see the whole picture. The art, music or drama critic plays a kind of observational roll that contributes to improvements in quality. I've done that too. I reviewed movies for a blog I've since shut down.
Then there are many things that don't hold my interest, but I've learned little bits of information about. Like cars. I don't know how to work on them, I can't drive anymore and yet I know how they work. I can turn a key or press a pedal to help someone else work on them. I can also reflect insights I've heard others express.
As leader, one must always value the other roles. Without those who participate and those who have an outside perspective, one can easily get off track.
If we conceive of our brain as the CEO of our body, then our cells follow its directives. We also interact with experiences outside of ourselves.
Think about the roles you prefer to play and why. Think about where and when you can go along with someone you respect and where you might just like to sit back and observe. All these positions change over time and within different groups we all do different tasks.
So learn when to lead, follow or be the outside observer. Just don't get between me and the chocolate, or you're going to be sorry.