Are You A Leader Or A Follower?

Some of us have natural leadership skills and can step up and be in charge in a variety of situations.  In this case, being able to take control without being too controlling is a good quality.  Being good at delegating and giving direction while overseeing things are good qualities to have as well when you have to or choose to be in charge.  I am a “big picture” thinker but am detail-oriented at the same time, which I think is conducive to being a good leader.  I can see things from an overview perspective but can hone in on the details that are necessary as well.

However, there are times when I choose be a follower and like having someone else be in charge.  I very much enjoy helping in my son’s classroom on a regular basis, party because I am not the one making the decisions about what is being taught and don’t have to be in charge of the students.  Having been a teacher, I am well aware of all of the things that a teacher needs to think about and keep track of in the course of just one day, and I am glad I don’t have all of those things in my head and can just take direction from the teacher and focus on helping the students learn the subject matter.  I also like the unpredictability of not knowing what I am going to be doing on any given day until I get to the classroom.  It’s a nice change of pace, particularly since there are so many other things I do need to make decisions about and be in charge of in my life.

There are plenty of people who are primarily followers and wait for someone else to tell them what to think and what to do.  Everyone can’t be a leader, so we need followers, but I think it’s the followers who can’t make decisions about things and don’t have self-initiative who kind of get lost in the shuffle and never make anything of themselves.  On the other hand, people who like to be in charge all of the time are sometimes perceived as being too controlling and assertive and have difficulty letting other people call the shots.  They can be difficult to work with because they don’t necessarily make good team players.  Every good team needs someone who can lead the team but knows when to step out of the spotlight and let others shine and do their job.

So from my perspective, the best answer to my leading question is that you are both a leader and a follower and know when to be each one.

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