Stop Leading the Way

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Everything we are taught in school is centered around being a leader, the only way for you to go anywhere in life is to lead. At this point being a labeled a follower is practically the same as being called a loser. We are taught from almost the beginning of our lives that being a follower shouldn’t be an option, become a leader or you’ll end up being much less successful. You won’t make as much money in your job, you won’t ever be a politician, you’ll simply be an average Joe. Just the notion of creating an entire school of leaders is simply unrealistic; just think; if everyone was a leader who would be left to follow? Our whole society would degenerate in to chaos, our nation’s leaders would become powerless, laws would go unheeded; nothing that humanity has today would be functional. While this is an extreme example there is a chance that people would stop listening to each other. This is counterproductive, the best leaders are the ones that listen to everyone, especially the ones that follow them, and put into action the opinions of some. By following opinions, the best leaders follow, so what is the difference?
The big difference is the leaders have the drive to do what the followers won’t. Leaders are crazy enough to not care what other people think and just do whatever they want. They jump into the deep end and worry about the consequences later. This has its advantages, after all some of the richest people in America are indifferent about minority opinions. The CEOs of almost every major corporation in the world have done something negative that affects their reputation; this isn’t important to them so long as they please the majority. For example, Apple takes advantage of China’s lax labor laws, forcing workers in to dangerous conditions, in order to maximize profit. While this is risky the majority of people don’t care because they reap the benefits of it. However, the successful leaders are in a huge minority compared to the unsuccessful ones. Most leaders end up being too bold and they are put in jail or shunned by society. They break laws and suffer the consequences, activist group leaders are common examples; while their intentions may be admirable, they overstep the boundaries of acceptable and ruin themselves. They become undesirable.
Followers, however, are never out of demand. Society has always needed them, every government and business ever has consisted of a few leaders and many followers. The followers see the benefits of their leader without taking the risks. The leaders create the business and the government and the followers reap the benefits, money, safety, etc. The great part about being a follower is you don’t have to worry about what other people think of you, your reputation is negligible. The only disadvantage to being a follower is that you are forgettable, you have no significant effect on what happens during their lifetime. Followers also have to be careful of who they choose to follow; some leaders are inherently dangerous, criminal leaders for example. Otherwise, following is the easiest and safest route to take.
There still is the remote possibility that you were born a leader, that following simply isn’t enough for you. Make sure that you take into account the risks, the risk of being unsuccessful and hated. If these dangers are to great for you, don’t be afraid to follow. The next time your parents or your teachers tell you to take charge, don’t worry about being good at it. If you’re absolutely horrible at leading go ahead and let someone else do it. After all, a leader is nothing without his followers.





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