Leader or Follower?

If you were to take a look at some of the best leaders in your life, there will most likely be several traits you sometimes wished you had.  It may be a mentor, a previous supervisor or manager that helped take you to the next level in your career.  Or, it may be someone that you know socially that really impresses you.  I personally have had several people like this in my life.  I have noticed a few things about them that I believe has led to their success and ultimately my admiration.  I thought some of these traits may be worth discussing. First, I would like to ask you a question.  What are some of the traits that you admire in some of the leaders around you?  How would you describe them?  Some of the things that I come up with are:  Dependable, approachable, understanding, competent, calm, steady, confident…….You get the picture.  After you make your list, I want you to ask yourself this question; why don’t you make efforts to become that person yourself?  If you do not obtain the traits that you listed, I will bet that those are the traits that you most likely desire yourself.  Why not make efforts to become that person for yourself and possibly someone else that you could mentor. Most are comfortable looking to someone else for leadership.  It may be because they are seeking protection, validation or just some kind of comfort.  But I know that being a true leader yourself is really what brings satisfaction, joy and confidence.  The problem with this is that it is just harder than following someone else, so most people are just unwilling to do it.  It is just like the hunting advice that was shared with me when I was very young.  Deer take the path of least resistance.  I have noticed over time that people do the same thing.  Very few are willing to take a rough path.  But the rough path is usually what brings the highest reward. Have you ever heard the saying that “it is usually lonely at the top”?  That is because there are not many people willing to put in the work and effort to get there.  But I want to encourage anyone reading this article to investigate yourself and asked yourself who you want to be.  Are you willing to put in the effort to become a leader?  Are you just fine being lead?  What are the first steps to becoming a leader? Be a good follower:  The first bit of advice that I received that helped me to star the process of being a leader is to be the best follower around.  I learned the ability to drop pride and make a good decision when I was needed as a leader and as a follower and when needed as a follower to become the best follower around.  When you show leaders that you are a great follower, rising to the top is not far away.  People will take notice and you will notice more responsibility come your way.  It will be more difficult, but when you are making efforts to improve yourself and become a leader to those around you the right way, it will change your life in a positive way.