Leadership is a huge buzz word these days. in business, politics, religion and even social and familial environments, everyone relies on THE LEADER. Contrary to popular understanding, leaders cannot be elected, appointed, promoted or assigned. We very well may portend to do do just that, but we can all see the disaster that unfold when those without the penchant to lead are thrust into those spots.
I believe that leadership is a natural evolution of life that is the by product of experience and confidence. One cannot decide one day that they will be the leader of ( such & such). They can, but if they do not posses the wisdom and confidence required for the task, no one will follow them. An elected, appointed, promoted or self decided leader can don the chapeau of ” head honcho” at anytime. Without the respect and support of those they wish to lead, they are are worthless as row boat without oars, destined to drift aimlessly wherever the current will take them, alone and confused.
A true leader is one who suddenly realizes that they are being followed. Many great political, business and social leaders, hold the title, and position, while utilizing the wisdom of advisers, mentors, and experts to allow them to feign leadership. They are actually the the conduit through which the true leaders lead with anonymity. We should not be fooled by these faces of falsity.
In a motorcycle group, club, or gang, the body naturally is drawn to the one that projects the most knowledge, experience and strength. So too in the wilds of nature. No posers in power is the natural theme of the wild. Lead, follow or get out of the way.
As a young man myself, (arrogant punk actually) I thought I knew it all. I was hell bent on not following anyone. You guessed it; messed up my life big time. Missed opportunities, blown chances, and poor choices. As soon as the reality of my aimless, oar less drift was apparent, I decided to follow. This meant seeking out those with wisdom, absorbing every word, deed and action, the assimilating into my core. As time passed, my reliance on leaders lessened, my confidence grew, and all of a sudden, I noticed people following me. I never made a decision, was elected, appointed, or assigned the responsibility, but in a flash, I was out front.
It has been over 10 years now that I have noticed that there are many situation where I just automatically take charge. Some call that controlling, or manipulative, others arrogant, yet some say that is the trait of a leader. Who knows which of them are correct? Not I! I do however feel that when we have the confidence in our resolve and knowledge, it is our responsibility to take charge. The masses will decide whether we deserve to be leading or not. If there is a crowd behind you; you are a leader. If you are chasing the crowd, you are a follower. When you are spinning aimlessly like windows vista with a weak internet connection, you need to get out of the way.
In reality, we are all leaders at somethings, and followers at others. Even great leaders will lead by example when they choose to follow. Showing others that respecting wisdom, and following those that know, is a demonstration of humility and wisdom in itself. Followers lead by teaching others how to follow.
All of this is an inside job. Each of us evolves from follower to leader on many fronts. I am brought to think of:
Ecclesiastes, chapter 3, verses 1-8:
“For everything there is a season, and
a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up
what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to throw away stones, and a
time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to
refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.”
and a time to lead, a time to follow, and time to move the f–k outta the way!
The Journey IS the DESTINATION