Leaders and Followers

How is it that there are those who quite willingly carry on following, seemingly unable to lead. They take a stance that says “Make minimal waves so things don’t get rough and ensure you keep your head down in case of incoming fire”. The challenge I have with this sort of thinking is that it means a small bunch of people are leaders who actively make decisions and therefore take risks.

That’s it, risk aversion. I find it interesting because as a child growing up I was whizzing around town on my bike, hurtling crazily downhill on a billycart (what brakes?) or climbing trees, risking life and limb daily. Scout camps were another thing, coming face to face with snakes and spiders in the wild along with touches of hypothermia and exhaustion. So I am not risk averse rather I seem to be looking for it.

I have tried businesses asked the hard questions of bosses while in jobs, asked ‘what if?’ too many times to remember and when my brain says no to putting forward an idea but my heart says do it! Often with interesting consequences.

I’m not sure where I get this tendency to ‘stick my nose out’ and get passionately into things but it happens. I don’t understand why it is that others don’t do it. When times get tough people should be jumping in offering ideas, not sitting back hoping for the best, not waiting for someone else to make a decision.

I would like to think that if I am in a situation to run a business with staff, I would have the temerity to hire a few crazy folks, a few active thinkers and a few people pushing some boundaries, but not blind faith followers the type who wait for others to decide what should happen next.

Ask yourself, what sort of people do I have in my team and are they serving the organisation well, or are the simply a pack of people who say yes quite often. Now ask yourself what sort of people do I really need to make this organisation thrive? Chances are you might want some more risk takers.

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