Why we follow – Part 3 – Making use of our differences

We all have our own set of skills and talents. But different situations require different types of knowledge and abilities. For this reason, we humans have evolved to become exceptionally good at identifying and making use of each others’ strengths. If we’re facing a difficult situation or need help of any kind, we turn to the person or persons best suited to help us.

In fact, our entire society is built upon this logic. If we get sick, we go to the doctor. If our car breaks down, we take it to a mechanic. This is so natural to us, we don’t even think about it – unless, of course, someone ignores this logic.

Let’s say your house is on fire and your spouse decides to a mechanic for help instead of the fire department, I’m pretty sure you’ll get upset. 

But how is this connected to followership? Well, when we decide who we want to follow, we choose to follow the person we believe is best suited to help us achieve our goal or objective. However, despite this, many leadership experts keep claiming we follow leaders because of who the leader is (charismatic, engaging etc). But that would be just as stupid as calling a mechanic if your house is on fire, just because you like they guy. 

In the next post, we’ll have a quick look at how the above affects our traditional understanding of leadership.

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