I had an eye-opening experience today on leadership. The incident that I am about to describe now has happened to me before, but the earlier me never tool notice and learnt from it. So, here it is.
I, and my colleague decided to visit certain retail outlets today. We decided to take our own cars and drive in a convoy fashion. I told him to take the lead, and I would follow. All
was well, till we came to a temporary roadblock. At this juncture, my colleague made a wrong turn and went down the wrong road. And I, without second thoughts, just kept following him till we reached a dead end. As a result, we had to turn around and came back to the spot where we got misled. Only when we reached and specifically looked for it did we find a clear sign showing the new directions.
So what’s special about the above? Let’s dissect it…
Fact #1: Even though I had driven on that road a hundred times before, at the roadblock I chose to not figure the signs out myself, but instead chose to follow the leader. Why? Because I trusted the leader and his judgment.
Lesson #1: This shows when a leader makes a mistake, invariably some followers (not all) will follow suit…especially the ones who have trust and loyalty to the leader.
Fact #2: My colleague was leading fine until he came to the roadblock. That’s when things went awry.
Lesson #2: It’s during a challenge when the leader has to take special care as to how he handles the situation. Mistakes generally occur when the going is tough, and is least expected.
Fact #3: I, as a follower, headed in the direction, which my leader took. Whether or not the leader headed in the wrong direction was revealed only when we hit a dead end.
Lesson #3: When the leader and the follower are in different directions, it’s called ‘chaos’. When the leader and follower are in the same direction, then it’s called chorus. When in chorus, the song that the team sings is determined by the leader.
You can see from the above that life teaches you valuable lessons in your everyday life. It’s up to you to take notice of it or not.
By James Clapton