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Oxymoron: A Leader With No Followers - Grasshopper

It does takes more than followers to be a leader. It takes initiative, a clear vision and the ability to communicate intrinsic enthusiasm. Once you have those qualities in place, followers will find you.

There are leaders in every field and they all have this in common: people will follow them up a hill. Not all, but enough people to distinguish them from those who shout leadership from the mountaintop with no one in tow.

 

We’re in the political season now. In one year, we will be selecting someone to be leading this country. I don’t know the person we will select; I only know what my selection process will be. I will immediately weed out the people I would not follow up a hill.

 

All sides of the political spectrum have these folks. They may have a message we like but for whatever the reason, they can’t get us to put on our hiking boots.

 

Perhaps it’s just me, but I have never found a leader I wanted to follow who told me they were a leader. Like Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Who you are speaks so loudly I can’t hear what you’re saying.”

 

Leaders just take the initiative and lead. They are self-starters by nature or more likely, by nurture. Either way, they aren’t waiting for someone else to begin. Leaders also know there are times to relinquish that role and follow. That’s the mark of someone who appreciates the full spectrum of leadership.

 

So who’s leading your life? If it’s not you, you’ll be at the mercy of someone else’s message that, to date, hasn’t been strong enough to get you even to the foothills. Yes, you can find a leader to follow and cite their instruction manual to a tee but in the end here’s what you’ll find: the leadership has to come from me - meaning you.

 

You’ll stay tethered to the ground if you can’t follow yourself up a hill. There comes a time that you have to put all your learning to use or you’ll remain a just reciter of someone else’s message.  That just makes you a feckless follower destined to remain at low altitude.

 

Want to lead? Have a clear vision of where you want to go and begin. Leave all the talk behind and walk loudly in the direction you want to go.  When you do that, you’ll be much easier to follow.

 

All the best,

 

John



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