I was accompanied by one of my closest friends and our significant others when we recently traveled to Jamaica. This was my second time traveling abroad and her 30th (or something like that). During our airport and customs ordeals, I noticed the “natural flow of things”, that were occurring among our group dynamics.
I am a person that usually leads and takes charge, but in this particular situation I “fell back” to the leadership and experience of my friend.
This observation stood out to me because I believe that there is power in knowing when to follow the leader, and being able to embrace that you are not the expert.
There were many reasons why I think I was okay “following” my friend, and why I believe a variety of situations call for a “follower the leader” attitude.
1- Trust. I trusted the unofficial leader of our group. Not because, she was my friend, but because I knew that she was considerably more experienced than I. She had traveled out of the country on numerous occasions and made it back safe and sound each time (not too many horror stories or major losses).
2- Desire to learn more. I wanted to learn from her without interfering. If I were to constantly interrupt and try to lead the situation, I could have possibly mis-guided our traveling experience, leading me to learn through trial and error, instead of watching it happen the right way, the first time around.
3- Excellence. I follow when the project, task, or happening is more important than my personal process or development. I believe in the learning process, but at times, the end product cannot be sacrificed for personal growth.
These are a few reasons why I am able to follow and, at times, go with the natural flow of things.
When do you think it is okay to follow the leader?
Below is an article that discusses humble leadership, including the reciprocal leadership that takes place among friends.
- Bosses, Employees Agree Humble Leadership Is Most Effective (livescience.com)