If I go, will you follow?
These days, probably more than ever, people want to lead. To become a founder, a CEO, an influencer. Instead of becoming a fireman or a ballerina, children dream of being blogger, YouTubers, and streamers.
Professionals break out of their cages, striving to become thought leaders, experts, and public speakers. Content creators are everywhere and even mainstream media acknowledge the existence of a creator economy (or, perhaps, bubble).
But do you notice something odd in all of this?
Everyone wants to be a leader. So where are the followers? Who are they? Where do you find them?
Take me to your leader
There's nothing wrong with being a leader, of course. And there's nothing wrong with aspiring to become one. But if we want this leadership culture to become sustainable, we must not "overfish."
Every leader needs followers. And followers are always plural. This means if you want to become a leader (or you are one now), it makes sense also to become a follower. Better yet: become a follower of several leaders.
So, how do you find leaders to follow? Especially when you're a leader yourself?
The best way is to step out of your field and look at the others. For example, if you're a financial expert, chances are there aren't many people to follow in this area. After all, they are probably very similar to you. But you may be interested in sewing and join a class lead by someone with more experience than you in that particular field.
Becoming a follower also helps you learn from others. You see their methods, discover different approaches, notice what works and what doesn't. That's sustainable leadership growth.
And to make it more impactful, follow diverse leaders. Different people have different leadership styles. They use different media. They use different languages. There's a lot to observe and think about.
Ask yourself: who are your leaders? Are you following enough people?
I want you to guide me
After all, it is not leaders who are responsible for great movements. The leaders are essential, yes, but the movements are only as strong as the followers. Especially, the first few followers will make or break the movement (or a community, company, audience).
Leading is an exchange: someone provides a vision, while someone else provides an execution. Leaders without followers are just isolated islands with nobody to appreciate their beauty.
Even if you don't want to become a leader yourself, it is still worth following someone in search for inspiration. After all, that's one of the seeds of creativity.
Instead of aspiring to be leaders, we should aspire to become better followers.
"First Follower: Leadership Lessons from Dancing Guy" (2:57)
“Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us” by Seth Godin, once more. Short and concise book about tribes, communities, movements, and how are they created.
Lera Batsian — co-founder of The Communities Show, where interesting leaders, followers, and community people are interviewed.
Oleg Pridiuk — Lera’s co-founder. Since his perspective is dramatically different, it’s always fun to see how they interact together and approach certain topics.
📚Book Club Updates
In the last meeting, we discussed “How to Take Smart Notes” and agreed that we all struggle with proper habits to take and review quality notes. That’s why we started the note-taking accountability group. Join here if you’re interested.
Next up, we have “Company of One” by Paul Jarvis. Recommended by Cal Newport of “Deep Work” and David Heinemeier Hansson of “Rework” and several other titles.
Other than that, we welcome Ashley Porciuncula as the new inspiring figure!