I talk about leadership often here because I truly believe that many people in leadership positions aren’t acting like leaders. I believe this because of my own experiences and from what I hear from people everyday that still deal with this type of relationship with the people they report to.

I was asked this recently: “What if I don’t want to become a leader?” It’s an interesting question because it presupposes that everyone needs to lead, which of course isn’t true. It also presupposes that when I talk about leadership that it automatically means “management”, which also isn’t true.

First, the world isn’t only made up of managers. It’s made up mainly of people who go to work, do their jobs, then go home. We’re thankful for that because without workers, nothing gets done.

Second, just because someone is a worker doesn’t mean they’re not leaders, or aren’t considered as leaders. I’ve been to many places where you learn quickly who the person is that everyone goes to for answers, and often it’s not the supervisor or person in charge. Some people take to their work easily and are willing to help others out. They exude a certain confidence that’s felt by everyone else. Just because they don’t have a title doesn’t mean they’re not leaders in their own right.

Third, If you’re not one of those people, so what? Sure, I’d love it if every person in the world decided to strive for something better in their lives, more money, freedom from bills, leading the way for others to follow by example, etc. But that’s not for everyone. Many people want to work, go home, and be left alone, or do whatever it is they want to do in their own areas. That’s fine; no one, certainly not me, is going to castigate you or try to push you into something you don’t want to do (well, your mother might, but that’s what mothers are for lol).

However, you have to know this. If you’re willing to be a follower for your entire life, at least know how to evaluate the right person to follow when you have a choice. Don’t follow someone just for the sake of following. Sometimes followers get themselves in trouble for doing just that type of thing; the law doesn’t care whether you were told to do something in many industries when you should have known it wasn’t legal. There’s a lot of that type of thing in health care.

As we head into this Memorial Day weekend I ask you to have fun, relax, and remember those men and women who gave their lives so that you have this choice as to whether you wish to be a leader or not.
 

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