Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Leaders and Followers

To be a good leader, first one must be a good follower. 

If you cannot follow, and run to the beat of your own drum, you set an example that says that you don't respect authority. And, if you don't respect authority, than why should people be expected to respect you as an authority? Of course to be a leader you cannot just follow. Likewise you cannot just lead when you are a follower. Both must be done in concert.

This is probably not new news to anyone, but it remains important nonetheless. And, this is not just applicable to Presidents, Senators, and politicians. People probably think I refer more to politics at this period of heightened electoral fervor, but I do not. Whether we are speaking of the leadership and followship of mothers and fathers, teachers and students, Assistants to the Regional Manager and Regional Managers, it is no less valuable a principle.

It is possible to teach and be taught as a teacher and as a student. In fact, I would say that good teaching only occurs when there is a healthy interplay between the two. The student must be just as involved as the teacher. And, consequently both will learn together, formulating new ideas and approaches. However, that does not mean the teacher cedes his or her authority and sits as an equal to the student on the subject being taught. It means that the teacher sees that he or she is defined just as much by his or her students as he or she defines them.

So, lead me well and I will follow. Then I will lead you well.


Anonymous said...

Is this Mr. Power's crypto-endorsement of Barack Obama???

Michael Powers said...

Well it certainly isn't a McCain endorsement.