Lead or Follow?
One of the most important factors of success is not being satisfied with merely following. When you are just
- following orders
- following trends
- following people
instead of being yourself and doing what’s best for you you won’t succeed. It’s not even about selfishness or money.
Whatever success means to you you have to find out on your own terms. You can’t succeed by chasing success others are defining for you. You need to find your own path.
Why do we follow?
Do you prefer leading or following? I’m not speaking of following on Twitter. Following is a general way of life most people adhere to.
In a way it has something to do with weakness, laziness or fear. You follow a path people went before you because you are either too weak, lazy or fearful to find your own.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t judge you here. I’m talking from my own experience. Of course there are manifold reasons to follow.
You need to follow first until you are able to explore on your own and then lead others. Leaders are not born, they develop out of experience.
Later in life or for some of us from birth leading or self-reliance is not an option. A plethora of health problems can make you more dependent than other people.
To lead you need to follow first
Leading is not as easy as it might seem when others do it and you just follow. You need at least
to become self-reliant and being able to lead. Of course nobody is really an island. What I refer to is relative independence of thought and choosing a way of life consciously.
As long as you are young, inexperienced or untrained the only way is to follow until you have the skills to be self-reliant or even a leader.
You will never be the first to do something when you just follow others.
In business we speak of the unique selling proposition that enables your business to stand out. Offering the same products and services as everybody else is risky business.
How do you think you will be able to have an USP when you just copy something someone has done before you?
Ideally you discover your unique talent and way of looking at things. You can even be disabled or chronically ill but you can’t just parrot others and try to be someone you’re not.
Is being a leader really the goal?
I’m not talking about leading like in “being a leader” either. The German word for leader is “Führer”. No kidding!
You know who the most well known leader in Germany was. I don’t want people to follow me either. I want other be independent as well.
Many of the Web celebrities have a business model of making other people follow them.
They can sell you affiliate products they recommend and make you spread their message on social media. In extreme cases this is just a pyramid scheme.
The people who follow me on Twitter or elsewhere are not followers of that kind. They are people who lead themselves. These people find and follow their own path.
Your own path is going the hard way
It’s not easy to find your own way of doing things these days. You get inundated with information, choices and your desires are constantly played with.
When you attempt to find your own path you need to invest more
It’s of course easier to go the same way others paved for you.
Almost the whole make money online blogging industry is based on the wrong leader-follower relationship.
The optimal win to win situation is when peers work together and support each other.
This mutual aid or solidarity can still be found in the world. Even online peopel convene ready to help each other. You have actively look for them.
I understand why people are following exploitative and deceiving individuals like. They appear strong while you are feeling weak yourself.
You are not lazy, are you?
You may even suffer from depression so that you are not really “lazy”. You may work from 9 to 5 or longer and be too tired to choose your own path.
Of course only you know yourself whether you are truly unable to accomplish things or whether you are just following others like a zombie staring into a screen all day.
You have to lead yourself instead of following false idols.
I don’t want to be your idol. I don’t want to show you my way of doing things in order to be able to sell you products. I want you to find your own way.
Tell me in the comment section what path you have chosen and how a conscious choice led to becoming more independent. Are you still following or leading a life you chose to?
Last updated: May 12th, 2017. I added a new image and rewrote the post to focus less on me and to be more understanding of the “weak and lazy”.
how about following until I know where I am going?
Truth is though…that MOST people will always foilow. It’s a rare individual who is truly capable of leading themselves, neverless anyone else. I like your take though….more leaders is what SEO needs as an industry wide movement.
Question for you? Do you think leaders are born or made?
It’s good if you start a lead. But it’s also good to follow. Just make sure that to follow a good lead.
Mike: Good question indeed. It depends on what your definition of a leader is. Like stated above many real life leaders are not leaders in my sense.
Also it’s always 50/50. Nobody is born a leader or made a leader. It’s always part of both. Authority is something you can achieve. Leading others is not something you should really strive for. Leading a life that suites you should be a goal though. When other people can relate and follow the same path for a while: great.
There is a specific path for all of us. No one person can determine the path for another human being. Everybody has to lead for her or himself.
good to lead and follow after
Tough question. Similar to Mike’s comment, I’m not always sure that I know enough to lead. Maybe one of these days…
SEO 2.0 | Lead or Follow?…
I always preferred leading. I’m not speaking of following on Twitter. Following is a general strategy most people adhere to. It has something to do with laziness. You follow a path people went befor……
I think if you don’t know how to lead, you could follow first and learn things leaders do.
Don’t you worry about (blank), let me worry about (blank).
There are two kinds of people in this world, sheep and sharks, what kind are you?
A couple of light-hearted quotes that seem oddly relevant to the leader follower model you’re talking about; however, I must agree that, while Mike’s comment about following until you know what to do, you do have to take off and do your own thing eventually or you just disappear.
Enjoyed the post, thanks!
While it’s easier to just follow, it takes more confidence to lead. Not all people are born to lead, but if given a chance, I think people would prefer to lead than follow.
I’m a good follower but i have no guts to lead.