Hmm. That’s Funny I Don’t Recall Asking You To Lead Me

Vantage Points Header Joel ElvesonLEADERS ARE…. Great leaders do…. The best leaders come from…. Some leaders….The character traits that a leader must have are….Leaders lead by….We need leaders because…. You get the picture by now. By that I mean just about every angle of being a leader has been written about already. What else is there to write about on this subject that somebody has not already written about?

Have you ever heard the expressions being led by the nose or who died and made you king? This brings us to the point of this article which not everybody needs or wants to be led. Many prefer to do things their way or live their lives in the manner which they decide to live not by following somebody just because they were anointed with the title of leader.

Do you remember the game we used to play as children that was called Follow The Leader where the head of the line is appointed with everybody having to imitate what the leader does or says in the exact manner as the leader had done it? Any participant who did not follow the leader was disqualified from the game. In the land of free thinking individual, why would they or should they go along with what this person is showing them to do?

A book with a title something like “How To Lead People Into Resenting You” can originate from these very practices. If you are a “leader” like it or not or accept it or not you may be setting a dangerous precedent by trying to entice people into following you. Odds are you do not have superpowers nor in all likelihood are you head and shoulders above your followers.

Leaders do emerge sometimes from the least likely people you would expect and have gone on to help others accomplish great things via the power of their inspiring thoughts and deeds. Emerging from the obscure shadows to become the “one” is a radically different concept than somebody duly “dubbing “ you to the leader while they themselves are less than stellar examples of a leader. Perhaps there was no fair or just due process that was utilized by the person who made this decision.

If you read my article Of Presidents, Musicians, Presidents & Heroes that was published earlier this month on this site you will see the distinctions I am making. Do not infer from this article that I feel under no circumstances can somebody be hand-pick to lead or that at times there is a necessity for this process. Certainly, there is every chance for success. For every failure, there is a success.

My “gripe” if you will is outside of hallowed halls of corporations both big and small where democracy rarely reigns supreme is that there are just too many so-called leaders from whence they came nobody knows. It would only seem logical that you are entitled to know what this person is made of along with what is it that separates them from the pack to deserve the loyalty they need.

Humans (as do animals) have an intellect which leads them to think and question at the same time. It is a mindset coupled with a thought process that can cause them to rebel or in general act against something that does not feel right within their being. Properly introduced to what is being asked will carry a different result. Living creatures cannot be made robotic where automatic acceptance is guaranteed.

Given the above, if you by one process or another become a “leader” would you not want it to be that people commit to you, believe in you because that is how they feel not because you were thrust upon them without the benefit of free choice? How much can you coming from this scenario hope to accomplish?

Should you be stopped on the street after being recognized as the one who purportedly the world now revolves around, do not be surprised if the person with whom you just met up with looks you squarely in the eye while emphatically making the following statement: Hmmm. That’s funny I don’t recall asking you to lead me! How you respond will dictate if you really are what they or you claim you are.


Joel Elveson
Joel Elveson
INDEPENDENT Executive Recruiting By Joel is an "up and coming" Executive Search Firm formed and headed up by Joel Elveson whose visionary ideas, leadership & creativity have brought to life a more "user-friendly" approach to recruiting. His clients and candidates form powerful strategic partnerships that we use to help you. Joel’s Firm offers Permanent, Temporary (case by case), & Temporary To Permanent staffing solutions for all of your Human Capital Requirements. Contract IT/Consultants are available if needed. Above and beyond they are experts (by way of their personal industry work experience) with mortgage, mortgage banking, middle-market banking, accounting, along with many others under the vast financial spectrum of disciplines. Their business goes beyond candidate recruiting as they also train, mentor and develop your internal recruiting staff with an eye towards helping you reduce the cost of hiring. They will also work in areas such as compensation, effective onboarding processes and alike. In other words, their business is to help your business by becoming an extension of you by filling in gaps that cause delay or waste. The recruiting methods employed by Joel’s team are time tested that results in a high rate of successful placements. Joel was trained in the art of recruiting by some of the top staffing industry executives in addition to the best recruiter trainers who to this day drive me to exceed the lofty goals he has set forth.

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  1. I absolutely love this Joel! I have said more than once that a Leader is not a title it is the supporting of others to be the best version of themselves. I am weary of the constant articles of 4 ways to this and 11 way to that in leadership. Especially when some things suggested are qualities of just being a decent, caring person. Kudos to you for writing something that sparks the discussion!

    • Raissa,
      How are you? I haven’t noticed you in the group as of late. THANK YOU for your comments! In my mind, I have said the same thing over and over again. The more you read these articles the more you realize they are all saying the same thing. This was I guess you could call my “anti” leader article as I grown tired of those articles. The thing that gets me is that it is never clear who these people are supposed, who this “leader” person is, to begin with, and who are they supposed to be leading and what are they leading them to. As an adult, if you need somebody to “lead” you there is something wrong. In the vast number of organizations, I worked for this type of person never existed. I don’t know how much discussion there will be as I mainly wrote this article to put something out that was actually based on reality. Your comments gave me a lift to my day. It’s nice to know there is somebody else like me out there that sees these articles as being much ado about nothing.

  2. The fountain of wisdom hidden in the deep recesses of a man as capable as Dear Joel Sir helps feed my thirst for inspiration. The above article is no exception in ways more than one.

    While it is true the real leaders have an innate urge to be the best Servant Leaders theycan be, there is no dearth of opportunists waiting to dawn the robe of leadership to decieve the gullible at every turn.

    It is the second type above that invites disdain, ridicule, as well as a huge question mark to their self-proclaimed leadership.

    It is about time we gather the courage to unmask these decievers and deliver them to the deepest crevices ever known to mankind.

    Thank You, Joel Sir!

    • Bharat, Thank you yet again for your thoughtful comments. The point I was trying to bring out was that not everybody is willing to accept a leader who was appointed to lead them. Some may get extremely annoyed or angry that was thrust upon them. The appointment of said leader may have come at the expense of somebody more well known and respected in the organization. There plenty of leaders who genuinely care about what they do in addition to how they are perceived. The frauds out there sooner or later (or we hope) will be revealed.

    • Bharat,
      Your warm words are a pleasure to read. I am flattered by your comment about having a fountain of wisdom. The last time I had wisdom was when as a child I had wisdom teeth. Those teeth are long gone and so is whatever wisdom I had. I just try to do the best I can whenever I can. Thank you again for your very touching words. By the way, in case you have not already noticed I am not somebody that receives compliments well. You should know that I am not one who accepts birthday gifts or cards either.

    • Sandy, thank you for reading my article and for offering your comment.
      It is a dangerous precedent to simply appoint a leader and to introduce him to the people or employees he will be leading.
      There are those who do not feel that need or a leader nor do they want one.
      Doing things in this manner encourages resentment, bitterness which leads to employee turnover.
      It’s just not a good practice.

    • Boy is that ever true! Leaders are meant to light the way, open doors and help their people to be the best they can be by helping them to fulfil their potential. If you can do those things as well as have the ability to be an effective communicator, you will be a good leader!

    • Thank you for your comments.
      If a leader is thrust upon people he is not likely to be effective as he will not be trusted.

    • that is for sure, it is like anything thrust on to people, why would they accept it when they had no say.

    • Traci,
      I am glad my article caused you think. My goal as a writer is to provoke thought in addition to eliciting feelings. Your comments were very well received on my end. It is always a pleasure to respond to readers even if they did not like my article as I welcome those comments as well. Please allow me to wish you a very happy and healthy 2018. I hope you will continue to read my articles. Be well.