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Are You a Leader or a Follower? The Choice is Yours

Wherever you go in life, there are always going to be two types of people: leaders and followers. It is up to everyone individually to decide what type of person they desire to be.

Whether this be in regard to areas of the work force, friend groups, in the classroom, etc., it is typically apparent who is the leader or not. In the work force, it may literally be the boss. Or, it could be a co-worker that always takes charge, delegates tasks equally, and always is hard working. In a friend group, it could be the friend that always is making the plans or is the “glue” of the group. In the classroom, it could be the peer that always asks the clarifying question, offers encouragement, or is always reliable in group work. Leaders can be spotted amongst others, as they are usually the people everyone wants to follow.

Being a leader takes responsibility, as well, as there can be bad leaders who do not have the best intentions. Also, contrary to some beliefs, being a follower does not have to be a bad thing. It could just mean that they are looking up to someone they are inspired as they desire to follow in their footsteps of success. However, it can be bad if it means they ignorantly follow the lead of someone who does not encourage good behavior or suggests poor actions.

Although being a leader might come easier to some more than others, being a leader is something that is earned. In my opinion, it is not something you are born as, as it is not an innate feature. It is a quality that needs to be worked-on overtime, consistently critiqued, and evaluated by oneself constantly. It is important to reflect what being a leader actually means to you, as well. 

To me, a leader means someone who puts other’s needs before their own. A leader means to always choose and say what is right - no matter how it could affect their social status. A leader means to keep one’s own pride in check. A leader means to be loving, unconditionally. A leader means to always put God first. A leader means to always aim to be the best version of oneself, because they never know who is watching. I am aware that this version of a leader is not perfectly and easily obtainable, but leaders never back-down from a challenge that presents itself.

To those interested on perfecting their skills on becoming a leader and what it encompasses, I encourage them to read: The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You, by John C. Maxwell. I took a class my sophomore year of high school where this book was part of the curriculum and it was life changing. There are also a variety of other books by him that could prove to be beneficial and educational.

Kathleen is a dual major in Psychology and Justice Studies at the University of New Hampshire.
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