Maybe, in times of uncertainty and rapid change, following is the most important thing we can do.
Following is a choice. By accepting and commiting to a leader’s premise, we are defining ourselves. Our values, our hopes, our aspirations. By following we become personally accountable for the outcomes .
A leader cannot be a leader without followers.
Both “leading” and “following” imply movement. From here, to there. Joint effort to an agreed destination for a specific purpose.
Following infers risk. It’s not often the Generals that lie bleeding on the battlefield.
So, perhaps we have three options.
- To Lead. In pursuit of something we believe in , to commit ourselves and face the dangers. The Hero’s Journey.
- To Follow. To make a conscious decision to back the vision and capability of a leader, putting yourself on the line by making your decision.
- Fatalism. To do nothing, in the belief that you can do nothing, and that what will be will be.
Each is a conscious choice. When we decide to do something, to say yes to something, no to something, or take a time out, we are making decisions and defining ourselves.
Each time we put a cross on a ballot paper, take a job offer, follow somebody on social media, or watch and do nothing we are defining who we are to others, and of course ourselves.
Who we follow is a serious decision, with consequences. Take it seriously.
We are all accountable.