Monday, 9 May 2016

It is imperative for leaders to have followers and followers to have leaders.

Follow the movement

In my previous post I covered how leadership demands passion, here I want to introduce the followers.

When one becomes a follower, how that follower influences others to become followers, and how followers in turn can become leaders.

Followers need leaders and leaders need followers. You can't have one without the other. Leaders were not always in this position they were mentored at some point by someone who they followed.

Let's begin first by explaining this phenomenon called pluralistic ignorance. Each member of a tribe believes the other person wants something while it is contradictory to what they want, yet they go along with it anyways.

As defined "No one believes, but everyone thinks that everyone believes".

We can see this in many followers who become inspired by followers to continue with the movement.

Social Psychologist Stanley Milgram has also proven with human experiments that behavior of one individual relies on his peer's actions. If one person agrees with something another person is more confident in agreeing as well in that something even though the answer may be wrong.

Social acceptance. People yearn to fit in, and by acting and looking like the group that they want to fit in with, usually a group that is deemed superior, they become part of the group themselves.

This is the leverage that leaders use while their message may inspire a small group of people, that can escalate if that group heavily believes and is invested in the movement of the leader.

People listen, and believe in people who are like them. People like people like themselves.

Leaders also replace words that may seem harsh with ones that downplay the actual implication. This practice is called euphemisms, George Orwell best describes it "Things are never called by their common names."

Why am I telling you all this?

I want you to understand the psychology, I am not a psychologist nor have I studied it, because it is crucial to understand how followers influence non-followers to join the movement and how leaders rely on this to create movements.

If you truly believe in what you are doing, and you give your heart and soul to it. You then channel that passion and people begin to believe in you too.

We need followers and we need leaders. Most importantly we need communities where we feel safe, accepted, and grow.

The best leaders are great followers.

Thank you for reading this post. To be continued....

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