To lead, to observe or to follow?

During your lifetime of, on average, 80 years, you will have three choices concerning other persons. You can lead them, you can observe them, or you can follow them.

Lead, observe or follow?

Do you want to lead and leave traces in the hearts and minds of other people? This applies to how you impact your family members or even to how you influence people you will not even meet in person. Or do you want to just observe the world around you and choose not to participate in common endeavours? Finally, do you want to follow great leaders and contribute to shared goals?

Whatever you choose to do, you will most probably engage in all three behaviours (leading, observing, following). These depend on circumstances and variables, such as one’s situation, age, position, skill, intelligence, group, values, personal preference, etc. You may even decide not to choose anything, but you will still end up leading, following or observing others. Imagine a kindergarten teacher leading kids in her school in the morning, and then observing a fight from the bus on her way home, and finally following a choir conductor on her late-night rehearsal. The choice of leading – observing – following might not even consciously cross her mind, yet she did all three. Therefore, it is important to learn more about leading and following, even if you have no leadership ambitions whatsoever, because you will be engaged in all these activities.

Present followers are future leaders

For those who have ambitions to lead and want to leave an imprint on and influence the lives of other people, it is of paramount importance to learn more about leading and following. If one has the ambition of becoming an ethical and conscious leader who is honest, morally courageous, compassionate, caring, fair, intellectually outstanding, selfless, and who is a visionary with creative thinking, good timing, aesthetic sensitivity, then learning more about leadership is a must.

Today’s people work in multiple teams with a leadership role in one and a follower role in another. Future leaders are followers at present. Depending on the context, one will lead or follow or observe, but what is needed in all cases is the understanding, skills and internal motivation to act ethically. The Alfred Ford School of Management Conscious Leadership course offers the opportunity to safely yet effectively practice such lofty but attainable objectives.