As a parent, you probably want your children to be leaders because leadership is associated with being successful and prosperous. After all, we can’t all be leaders…or can we? You may want to examine your thoughts and beliefs about this. Here’s why.
There are pros and cons associated with everything, even when it comes to choosing to be a leader or a follower. But, did you know that you can be both? Some of the very best leaders are those who know how to step out of the way and let others shine. They know how to play to someone’s strengths and weaknesses, how to take the lead, and when necessary, how to get out of the way.
Leadership Benefits Include:
Respect from Others — When you are a leader, especially if you are a good leader you’ll garner the respect and admiration of others.
Self-Respect — When you do good, you feel good. Being a leader that helped a lot of people do good makes that self-respect magnified.
Cons of Leadership Include:
Long Hours — As a leader, if others don’t step up to the plate to help you’ll end up working long hours on something and often times alone.
Lots of Responsibility — Sometimes, depending on what you are doing, the shear enormity of the responsibility on your shoulders can be a lot to handle.
Follower Benefits Include:
Less Responsibility — You won’t have to work as long hours, and you won’t end up taking up the slack of others.
Less Stress — Due to not having to spend sleepless nights doing all the work, you won’t be as stressed out.
Follower Cons Include:
Less Ability to Make Decisions — When you are the follower you have to ensure that you pick good leaders because you will be relying on them to make good decisions.
Dependency on Others — It can be hard to be dependent on others to express and manage a vision to fruition.
These are the typical pros and cons to leadership and following that are often mentioned in books about how to become a leader. But, these definitions can leave people feeling bad about following. The thing is, sometimes being a follower is the right thing as long as you’ve chosen a good leader with sound morals, and good judgment who is capable of being a trustworthy leader.
For natural leaders, letting others shine in the role can be a good thing. When others step up into leadership role, it can be very empowering. Becoming a follower doesn’t mean you give up your morals and good judgment. It just means that you are capable of taking direction from someone who has a good vision of where the group wants to go.
Natural followers often have the skills needed to lead but just haven’t had the opportunity or prefer “doing” rather than “deciding.” Stepping into a leadership role is also empowering. Becoming a leader doesn’t mean that you know all the answers. It means that you know how to find the answers and are capable of directing the group as it works towards a common goal.
If you want your child to be a good leader, help them develop the skills and qualities of being a good follower, first. Then work on the leadership skills and qualities. Remember, leaders don’t always lead and followers don’t always follow. There will be a time and place when your child will need to know how to step into each role. Start getting them ready for each one now.