I recently put out a quotation to my subscriber list indicating: “Unless you learn to lead, you will always be at the mercy of someone else to guide you.” While on the surface this looks like a totally plausible quotation, a very wise and learned friend quipped back: 'Hi. I've been thinking about this. While true, I was reflecting on the fact that I'd probably prefer to be led by a person such as, say, Gandhi, than led by myself :-). There are a few people I would be willing to follow w/o feeling that I was at her or his mercy.'
This got me thinking and exploring if my friend's insights were true? While I see her position, I had to warmly reply that while she made a good point, I believe Gandhi wanted people to lead themselves… and that is what great leaders do. He (Gandhi) could NEVER had successfully extracted the British from India if he was leading everyone by himself…because the British would have just had to lock him up and the revolution was over. Instead, he taught others how to go about making the change they wanted themselves…the same is true for the Arab Springs that happened well…almost everywhere…if people do not learn how to lead themselves…they could end up in a place like Jonestown.
Now, if you happen to be lucky enough to have a great leader, then being sheep is OK.. Oh, and by lead…it may be you lead just an army of ONE…you… Every great master knows there comes a time that his pupil will need to leave his tutelage….and lead himself… just my two cents…oh, BTW…I am NOT saying it is unwise to follow someone, but if you never learned how to lead, you may never know if it is a worthwhile person to follow.
The same can be said for you as a business person. No, you may never be in front of a company as a leader, but not learning this valuable skill, you will never know if the company you are with is worth staying with or not... "for every endeavor, large or small, rises and falls on leadership."