You Can’t Have A Following Unless You Lead

You Can’t Have A Following Unless You Lead
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You’re on a flight heading to New York City. The pilots suddenly alert you and the other passengers that the engines have just failed. You look out your window and see the smoke flooding off the wings clouded by the slur of anxious voices in the cabin. The plane is descending into an unidentified forest. You hear the wings start clipping through the trees, sawing them down like a dull blade. The plane crashes into the hillside and instantly kills half of the passengers and both pilots; the communication devices are down and your cell phones are not working. Help isn’t coming. It’s freezing cold outside, and time is of the essence.

There are two options, stay over night in the woods with the possibility of freezing to death, or leave the wreckage behind and try to find the nearest town.

Due to factors and your best judgement, you decide to find the nearest town and not stay behind in the wreckage. Only ten of the remaining forty passengers want to come with you. The other thirty wish to stay behind and try to fare over night in the freezing weather. No matter what you do, you cannot convince the other thirty passengers to come with you. You decide you are going to trust yourself, instead of following the majority and begin leading the other ten passengers to find the nearest city.

Stepping Into The Woods

You were able to take the lead and the responsibility. Knowing that the key principles of leading are as follows:

  • Decide your prime directive.
  • Don’t wait for permission from the majority or the authority. It’s your decision.
  • Assume that you are alone, at least in the beginning.
  • If others decide to join you, welcome them.
  • Treat those that join your purpose like you would your brothers.
  • Those that do not approve of you, leave them behind.

Leading is Natural Selection

This is what it means to be a leader – and this is what it means to let go. No matter what you do, you will never get everyone to follow you. You can state the facts, you can plead and you can create a model sized scenario of what will happen – they still will not follow you. These non-believers are not your concern, nor should they sway your trust in yourself. The only people who matter now are the ones who decided to embark on this journey with you – your allies in conquest. The truth is, your allies will most likely be fewer in number than your opposition. It’s a big world out there.

You Will Be Challenged

There is no man on this earth blessed enough that no one will throw a party after his funeral.

The bigger your goals, the more crooked your path – the more resistance you will get. Succeed in one area, and people will demote you in another:

  • Promotion: He’s successful – Demotion: He’s shallow or narcissistic.
  • Promotion: He’s muscular – Demotion: He’s probably shit for brains.
  • Promotion: He’s popoular – Demotion: He’s a sell out.

These are just a few examples of how no matter what you do – you will have people who will never approve of you. Just imagine when you do fail in some area, what these people will say about you. When you decide to embark on your mission; remember that the people who do not believe in you, should and do not matter to you – let em’ walk. Your focus is first on your prime directive alone, and second to those who decide to align with you. As long as you decide to move forward with something, the right people WILL align with you.

In Closing: If you are not at the reigns of your own life, you will never have a following nor will you ever have a real opposition. If you don’t have either, then you’re not a leader. 

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Trevor Freeman
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Trevor Freeman is a 30 year old entrepreneur, pianist, motorcyclist and philosophy buff. Follow him on twitter @trevorjfreeman.

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