So there I was last night, having my Whole 30 compliant stir-fry bowl and going one by one through the apps on my phone clearing the little red notification badges on each. (It’s all worthless by the way and I’m going to turn all that annoying shit off.. eventually).
Facebook – 5 notifications. All crap I don’t care about.
Twitter – 7 more that are of Zero interest to me.
Wordpress (hey, that’s this!) – 4 People like my post of the day. That gives me some warm-fuzzy feels.
Instagram – 1 I cant even see, but it goes away if I open the app. How stupid.
Then Linked In – 4 notifications which include, typically, someone’s work anniversary, some news of the day, and some jobs it’s found for me. It never adds up to the actual number on the badge which is odd.
All of that took like two minutes to clear and there wasn’t a single thing I actually cared about. I decided to scroll through my LI news feed and didn’t get very far before seeing a video with the title “You Don’t Need to be a Visionary…” , from Simon Sinek.
Simon Sinek is the ‘Start With Why‘ Guy and I’ve watched a few things from him before so I decided to watch. It starts off talking about the fact that society today is a bit obsessed with the concept of ‘having a vision’. I’ve often thought about the fact that there’s so much hype these days around leadership and passion and vision and startups. If you’re not on that bandwagon, well you’re just not cool. This video was five and a half minutes and gets to the heart of the idea of it being OK to be a follower really quickly.
I’ve found myself asking a lot lately – how many leaders do we need anyway? I think the answer is very few. We clearly don’t need a leader for our country. We could do without most presidents of companies and C-suite execs. Many of those people aren’t leaders anyway… they are dictators. There’s a BIG difference there. The truth is, there are already too many people faking it in leadership roles and doing no good.
The last thing we need is more people trying to be leaders, especially without the right resources, mindset, and training. Yes.. training. People don’t just fall off the turnip truck as leaders, they have to have a natural tendency toward leadership and cultivate that over years of hard work to understand people, the world in which we live, and how to be effective.
A person who is 24 might be a great candidate, but does not yet have the life experience required to actually lead. I’m not saying they can’t, I’m just saying they would be even better after years of training. That being stated, I don’t think most 20-somethings aspire to be leaders anyway (unless it’s in a corporate sense and they are seeking a higher rung on the ladder). I think most people just want to find meaning in their lives and purpose and be happy.
In truth, I think most people are not “built” to be leaders. Which means that we are mostly followers. We want order and direction or chaos and creativity and seek inspiration for doing something more outside of ourselves. Myself included.
I’m never going to be a thought leader or startup my own initiative to do good in the world. For one, I just don’t have the time for that and secondly, I frankly don’t have the inclination. I’m ok with that because I know any thing I might want to put my effort into is already being done. Someone, somewhere has already declared war on whatever injustice I think I care about and they probably have a better ‘vision’ about how to make a positive impact.
Simon’s video speaks to the fact that it’s OK to not be a leader, and echos my sentiments about some people not being built to be leaders. It goes on to stress how, instead, we should seek out other people’s visions and focus our efforts on “following” them.
I agree whole heartedly with his statements. I think all the “followers” of the world (and there are a lot of us) should actively seek out people who have a vision that moves us and then get behind them. If we collectively put our effort into whatever that is, then their resource pool grows and increases their chance for success. If they succeed, then we succeed too. It’s a win-win.
I think most people want to do good in the world, we were just never taught how. If you are a follower, it starts with looking for a leader. Who do you follow?
Take Me to Your Leader,
PS. If you are interested.. here’s a link: You Don’t Need to be a Visionary – It’s Fine to be a Follower