One of my good friends – a respected colleague – once said, “I’m a follower, not leader.”
This (other) guy wrote a book on great followership (i.e. as opposed to leadership).
The first follower takes the courage to say, “Hey these people are onto something!”
The first follower is what makes a trend, just as the second point on a graph makes a line.
Being an expert follower is prerequisite for a good leader, and following is itself a form of leadership.
To all the followers out there, this list is for you:
- Thomas Jefferson, first a vice president, then president
- Barack Obama, first a senator under Clinton, then president
- Microsoft Windows, not the first GUI operating system
- Apple iPhone, not the first smartphone
- Facebook, not the first but the most successful social network
- Frodo, the second Baggins to bear the ring
- Jesse Pinkman, the sidekick you root for
- The Empire Strikes Back, the better follow-up movie.
- Pablo Picasso, a grand follower of classical realism before breaking free
- Twitter, a social network that celebrates the act following
So let us, too, celebrate followers.