My blog dashboard has blog idea prompts and I enjoy reading through them. Sometimes I get ideas from the prompts, most I never use, but some are thought provoking and make me think for a while. Today’s blog is a result of a prompt from last week that I have thought a bit about.

The question was: are you a leader or follower? I thought quite a bit about that because I have never thought of myself in either position and yet have been in both, and depending on how those are used they each come with positive and negative connotations. After having thought about it, I have realized that we are either one or the other most of our lives and we need both in this world.

Through my Church I have had the opportunity to be the leader or “president” of a number of organizations since I was a young adult. As well as sit on and chair community boards. I find being the leader can be a great position to be in when you have a clear direction you want to go and followers who catch your vision and will help you make it happen. It’s also great to have trusted followers willing to advise you along the way so that you can maintain a good perspective. I have found it helpful as the leader to surround myself with followers with different talents and perspectives. This helps to create a well rounded program that helps the greatest number of people within the reach of that particular organization.

I have never considered myself a follower in my narrow definition of someone who blindly agrees with anything to fit in or be part of something. That’s what I think about when I think follower. But as I’ve pondered I realized I have been a follower in many different capacities. I’ve had the opportunity to sit on different boards and participate in many presidencies as a follower or councilor. Just as described above, I’ve had opportunity to catch someone else’s vision and help make that happen as well. I’ve had the opportunity to also strive to follow in my Savior Jesus Christ’s footsteps, and while my path has been a crooked path because of imperfection I still try to follow to the best of my ability.

I think this world needs good leaders as much as it needs good followers, and needs people on both sides willing to listen, council and discuss hard things and come up with great solutions together. Being the leader is great because you have the final say, but the buck also stops with you, and you take upon yourself the most responsibility. Being a follower is great because you are not ultimately responsible for the final decision, but sometimes things don’t go the way you’d hoped because you don’t get to make the final decisions. I believe in this life we should have opportunity to be both. As we have that chance we develop character and compassion for each position. I am grateful for the opportunities I have had to be both and for the positive character building experiences each has had in my life. Which do you prefer?

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