Sometimes inspiration comes from the strangest places. As we drove in to work the other day, I jokingly told my wife that I would pull into her parking lot the wrong way (one way street) to save some time. She told me no, and I reminded her that some of the other employees did it all the time. She looked me in the eye and said, “We don’t follow bad leaders.”
Now, I don’t know if that has an impact on anyone else, but it gave me a little chill. What does it mean? I’m not exactly sure. I want to ponder the idea some and develop the idea, but the things that immediately sprang to mind are the times that we do follow bad leaders.
First, we follow them when we are forced into it. A manager can push and prod you to follow them, because they have the authority and position power to do so. Even when the person is a bad leader, we prefer not to be jobless and eating from a dumpster, so we follow them anyway. We rarely follow bad leaders for long without fear or intimidation, and those characteristics are certainly not good motivators. These situations usually end up with the bad leader being ousted by others (hopefully).
Second, we follow them when we don’t know any better. When you’re young, you follow the pack. Eventually your mother will ask, “If Johnny jumped off a bridge, would you do it, too?” We don’t know the difference between a good leader and a bad leader at that time, so we blindly follow anyone who stands out to us. Eventually we grow out of that and develop some discernment to help us make those sorts of choices. Once you’re old enough to get your own job, you should not be following someone simply because you don’t know any better.
This has been a sort of rambling, “out there” post. Something resonated in me when I heard the line about bad leaders, and I felt like I had to get it off my chest. I don’t believe in coincidences. This was a shot in the dark, but I think it means something to someone out there. Does anyone else have something to say about bad leaders and the people following them?