Let’s Play Follow the Leader. As a kid, playing Follow the Leader with my friends was a common phenomena. My friends and I would take turns being the leader, choosing where to go and what everyone who was following had to do. If the leader would turn right, everyone else would turn right. If the leader jumped up and down yelling, everyone playing would do the same. It was a fun game that often ended in extreme laughter and silliness.
At a young age, we develop the idea of what leaders are. We have watched our parents, teachers, superheroes, and even other kids explain their own perception of what they think leadership is. As kids, we see leaders as strong, decisive, and powerful people. Further developing into our young adult lives, we understand leaders to be charismatic, social, and smart. But are these the qualities that fully explain what leading is? No. Being a leader is so much more than that. Leading in any role consists of working hard to reach your goals and encouraging others to reach theirs as well. Of course there are certain characteristics to good leadership that should be recognized and practiced, but being a great leader is not black and white; it is extremely situational. There are many settings in which to consider when thinking about how to lead and where you lead best.
We often get too caught up in following the leader and trying to adapt to their methods and ideals that we forget that we, too, are leaders. A leader does not have to be a powerful, charismatic superhero. A leader can be a quiet, intelligent individual who leads a study group with intentions of everyone in the group getting A’s. We all possess the potential to be leaders. All it takes is devotion to a cause and hard work. So, next time you are following the leader, consider how you want to lead when you it’s your turn.