I’m tired of them already, and we have two years to go before the general election!
In politics, we get to choose our leaders. In other areas, not so much. When you apply for a job, you get the boss in place, whomever that may be, and probably more than one.
If you join a church, the preachers are usually already there when you arrive. If you hang around long enough, you might have a say in who the next leader will be.
When you need additional customer service, you ask for the manager. If that person doesn’t satisfy you, there’s probably some else over them.
WHO DECIDES WHO’S BOSS?
So where do these leaders come from? And who decided they would be the boss?
Are you young enough to remember kindergarten? There were leaders on the playground, usually whoever started to play tag or hopscotch and invited others to join. The girls’ leaders were the pretty ones, while the boys’ leaders ran the fastest or yelled the loudest.
Hopefully, as we grew older, we made our choices using more mature methods, like hanging around with people most like us and choosing one who blended in to lead. Or maybe the one whose likes, dislikes, and hobbies were the same as ours.
Then there were the class leaders, the ones who got the best grades in a particular subject or finished their assignments first.
Eventually, the leaders were voted on by their classmates, which usually meant the most popular got elected. (Unfortunately, popularity is still a determining factor in elections!)
Of course, there are clubs, just like in school. The pep club, the A/V club, the car club, the ladies’ club, the men’s club, and so many others. Who becomes the leader there?
My experience has been that the person who is most expert at whatever the subject is gets chosen to lead. After all, you wouldn’t want someone who knows nothing about the subject to be in charge, would you? Me neither.
So the leader of my writers’ group is the most prolific, most-published person. Same with other groups. You want someone you can look up to, quite literally.
HOW DO YOU BECOME A LEADER?
So, if you want to be a leader, how do you get people to follow you?
- First, let them know you’d like to be in charge. If they laugh, give it up. You’ll probably never convince them otherwise. If they smile and agree, you’re on your way.
- Second, be someone you yourself would follow. That includes being confident, self-assured, and honest. No one wants to follow a wienie with no backbone and definitely not a liar. We all want a leader who is intelligent enough to make wise decisions.
- Third, be consistent. If you’re sometimes a hard worker and other times a slacker, people will doubt your capabilities. Likewise, if you’re sure of yourself one day and waffling the next, doubts will arise.
HOW TO CHOOSE A LEADER
With elections looming, we all have the opportunity to choose our leaders. Maybe not the president this year, but we still have a lot of other choices. How do we know which box to check?
- Do your homework. Find out all you can about each candidate, just as you do for ballot issues. Most things are not black and white; there are a lot of variations that must be taken into consideration. So read what’s available and make a wise choice.
- Speak up. If something isn’t quite right, let your voice be heard. Too many candidates use PFA (Plucked From Air) statistics to “prove” their positions or discount their opponents’. That’s why many news outlets have taken on the task of researching to prove or disprove those facts.
- Don’t assume because someone is good at one thing, they’ll be good at everything. An academy award winner might be a fabulous actor, but that doesn’t qualify them for political office. Same with an astronaut or a sports hero. Use your brain when choosing.
- VOTE! U.S. citizens have a privilege not offered to everyone – that of voting. We get to choose who leads, what rules apply, how money is collected and spent, and a multitude of other things. If you don’t vote, you have no right to complain if things don’t turn out the way you want them to.
VOTE WHEN IT’S TIME
So it all comes down to this: if you want people to follow you, be the type of leader you would follow.
And choose your leaders wisely. Choices they make could affect your future.