Those are the three choices that all of us must make. There are times when one or the other may apply more appropriately, but the role we assume is important not only to ourselves, but also those around us.
Most of us have certain leadership abilities within us. It is the varying degrees that make the difference. Some of us are meant to command large to small groups, while others simply take the lead in influencing family and friends. None the less, many people assume a guidance position at some point in their life without really noticing. Whether it's a social, family, peer or a business situation, there are those who look to us for direction, motivation or as the example of "how it is done".
Even great leaders know that sometimes the most prudent option is to follow. When someone is instructing us in an area in which we are not fully comfortable or competent, we need to take a supporting role. This is not to diminish our part in the process, but to understand what position we must take to be the most productive. Virtually all leaders were followers at some point. They followed closely, learned quickly and worked diligently toward their goals. When they were ready, they assumed a leadership position supported by others because of their experience, knowledge and effort.
Get Out Of The Way
So, that leaves us with the third and final option. When you'd rather argue, complain, procrastinate or refuse to fully participate; it's time to "get out of the way". If you are not adding to the progress of an action or activity, you are hindering the ability of others to get it done. This is the only choice that never results in success. Negativity will kill and ruin a business!
The two positive paths (leading & following) are the ones that the business owner, sales rep, consultant, (whomever) can use to bring success to themselves and the business community. You lead by offering your clients the best professional advice and services possible. You follow the proven results that YOU know that work!
Here is one of my favorite quotes for the gentleman that also said "the hardest thing in the world to understand is the U.S. tax code and laws."
"Setting an example is not the main means of influencing others; it is the only means."
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