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Lead, follow or get out of the way!

December 28, 2012

Thomas Paine’s famous quote, “Lead, follow or get out of the way,” has much relevance for today.   The key ingredients in most leadership definitions are:

  • A group phenomenon involving leaders followers
  • Some form of hierarchy
  • Goal directed guidance through influence

When a group is working towards a goal it’s not helpful for people to stand in the way.  It’s more efficient for everyone to get on board with the objective in order to carry out the mission.  If you can’t get on board, a few scenarios are possible:

1. You believe the group is pursuing the wrong goal so you challenge the direction = displaying leadership or followership.

2. You believe the group could be pursuing the goal more effectively, so you are challenging the process = displaying leadership or followership.

3. You are upset with the goal, direction, group or leadership and are working to thwart their efforts = grow up or get out of the way.

 

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