Leaders and followers

I was in a forum where it was being debated who should be blamed for the decadence found in some countries. Some insisted leaders should be blamed while some argued it should be the followers.

I believe bad followership stems from bad leadership.

A mark of a good leader is loyal followers’ (The Message)

So if there are bad followers then their leader should examine himself.

The kidnapping escapades of the Niger Delta in Nigeria were initiated by a leader (a politician). He organized a group of people to kidnap, ask for a ransom and it was successful.’ I imagine that the group that executed the initial plot partook of the ransom and felt it was good money with little effort. So they split and organized their own groups and continued the kidnapping business. Each group had a leader. The recent xenophobic attack in South Africa evolved from a meeting. Who called for the meeting? A leader! He appealed to his followers’ emotions and they went into the streets.

I remember a childhood chant, ‘Follow your leader, 1 2!’

For me the chant implies, ‘do what your leader is doing, say what your leader is saying and think what your leader is thinking’ QED

A leader is influential and so it is expected that he will influence his followers either positively or negatively.

Admittedly, there are situations that a leader inherits bad followers. Fine! He goes to work! Not by mere talk but by living exemplary life for his followers to emulate. He has to spend time re-training and discipling his followers. Most importantly he has to show them a more appropriate way to approach issues.

For instance, a father is the leader of a home. His duty is not just to give the dos’ and donts’ but to show how. A father who is a thief cannot tell his child not to steal. Children tend to do more of what they see than what they hear. The same goes with followers what they see is more imprinted in their hearts than what they hear. So a leader must primarily lead by living an exemplary life.

Some countries do not have leaders. What they have are acquisitors,’ most of who do not have the word service’ in their dictionaries. They take up positions of authority to enrich themselves and impoverish the nations.

When a country has a leader, the issue of followership is a piece of cake.

But then leadership is not only at the top like the president of a nation. Anyone in charge of a group of two, three etc is a leader. A married man is the leader of his home which is the basic foundation of a society. A head of a team in an office is a leader.

Imagine a situation where we all as leaders begin to imbibe the right attitude and work ethics into the group we are leading, then new breeds of followers will emerge in corners and with time a conglomerate of loyal followers will be raised in each country.

But this can only happen when the leaders train and prepare themselves through self discipline to lead by examples. They can only teach the right attitude and work ethics if they, the leaders believe in them and practice them.

Followers will eventually branch off to be leaders somewhere and the chains continue. If they learn the right attitude and work ethics from their leaders, they will definitely spread them. I am talking about a trans-generational issue here. Only then can we have better nations. Leadership has to shift from those that are power drunk to those that understand service and sacrifice.

I may fault some followers in the area of not standing up against bad leaders. It happens in our offices. A manger insists we do wrong; we go ahead and do the wrong only to go complain behind him.

Let’s stand up against our leaders where they err and not forget to applaud them where they have done well.

Please free to comments. What are your opinions? I would love to hear them

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