It’s up to followers when leaders get foolish…
Tom Fishburne has it right — at least from the point of view of the weary followers distracted by leaders more interested in jargon (or shiny things or band-aid solutions) than in leading.
That’s why we need authenticity in action, sustainable solutions. It’s easy to get tired of talk and roleplay. But the West is not a culture that likes to go deep. We don’t respect silence much, and although we crave listening we tend to distrust people who listen more than talk.
So what’s a follower to do?
I just wrote about Pakistani team Malala Yousufzai, a dignified youth leader in the internal resistance against the Taliban’s “Drill Sargeant” dictatorship. She was shot for standing up for education for girls. In our Western lives, there’s much less danger for followers willing to stand up for ourselves.
OK, we might get criticized or fired, depending on the courage of our challenge and the foolishness of our leaders. Both are uncomfortable consequences, and we have to decide if it’s worth the risk.
We might lose friends if we’re willing to influence people. Ironically, this consequence can be the most uncomfortable for Westerners. We don’t like to shake things up when it means people might not like us. It’s a weakness of our leaders as well as our followers.
Whatever our reasons, when followers let the status quo keep them in check, everyone loses. Especially the foolish leaders who, in their earnestness, get stuck in leadership roles that feel good (read “authentic”) but don’t do much good at all.
Here’s the solution…
Ready?! Wait for it…. It’s really really simple. All you have to do is…
Hey, look! I’d tell you more but there’s this shiny new thing over there — gotta go! Wouldja just fix the leadership whatsis before I get back? Thanks. I’ll bring you a pizza.