Follow the Leader

“At a deep, brainstem level, a question we’re always asking about leaders is, ‘Do I want to follow you?’” (The Zen Leader, p. 43, Ginny Whitelaw)

Notice that this is totally subconscious. We do this naturally, without asking whether or not such an evaluation is “fair.” Such a gut-level judgment comes from pure survival instincts. You don’t want to follow someone that is going nowhere or that you sense has their own best interests at heart, at your expense, of course.

There are precious few leaders in this world of overly-abundant managers. How many people do you know that you truly admire? You’re lucky to find a handful in a lifetime. It is an unbelievably high standard in a world of chaos and rule-enforcers. Managers are a dime a dozen. Managers try to “manage” change, which I think is hysterical. It ranks right up there with “time management.” You don’t “manage” time; you can only change your relationship to it, unless, perhaps, you are a shaman with time-travelling capabilities.

I try to be very careful regarding whom I follow or even hang around with. I believe that you become like the people you spend time with. That’s why I backed off participating in church. I felt like the way they handled money was blatantly and unapologetically unethical. They made no excuses because that would have implied that they had a conscience or even were interested in possessing one. I didn’t want anyone thinking I was in cahoots with them. I don’t need that kind of reputational slime clinging to me.

Can I be a leader? Even if I never have an upper-echelon position, I can still hold myself to high standards. I don’t know if I will become someone others admire, but I know I can become someone I respect.

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About cdhoagpurple

I live in Michigan. I was Greek Orthodox (and previously Protestant), but now am more Buddhist than anything. I am single now (through the till-death-do-you-part clause of the marriage contract). My husband Barry was a good man and celebrated 30 years in AA. I am overly educated, with an MBA. My life felt terminally in-limbo while caring for a sick husband, but I am free now. I see all things as being in transition. Impermanence is the ultimate fact of life. Nothing remains the same, good or bad.

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