e are surrounded by leaders, aren't we? Business, political, religious and military leaders abound.And it has always been like this. In nature, pack animals always have a leader and humans are nodifferent. It could be said that out of all groups a natural leader always emerges. They are theones who show the way (whether the way is right or wrong) and people follow them.
All over the world, there are statues erected of leaders of days gone by, cast in bronze or carved in stone.Great military leaders who fought bravely for their king and country, or political leaders who have changedthe shape of history. Sometimes in dictatorships, the current leaders just erect statues of themselves to feedtheir own ego, and let people know of their status.Some people have gone against the idea of one leader, and even try to organise their groups whereeveryone is the leader, where everyone has an equal voice, but that doesn't work either – all that happens isnothing ever gets done! So, whichever way we look at it, a “natural” structure always arises, with a leader atthe top, and a pyramid spanning out underneath him.But what I want to know is, do we really need someone to lead us? Do we not know the way? I do notwant to talk about business, or politics, or the military, for the people that lead do so solely on their ownagenda. They are not trying to inspire people, just convince them to follow them, do you understand? Whenthe king, or ruler makes a speech “to inspire” the people, he is doing so to convince you to carry out hiswishes, such as go to war and kill or be killed for him.The leader I want to talk about does not seek to control nor receive adulation from his followers, but issomeone who shows the way, by being the way. Do you understand? It's like walking the walk and talkingthe talk! The leader I talk about does the things he wants to inspire in others and does not require them toagree with him or even know who he is.
A great leader is someone who inspires but has no followers
So many people try to lead others, but ultimately all they are trying to do is gather followers. Some peopleonly like the idea of being a leader if there are people to follow them. What would be the point of making arousing military speech or engaging religious sermon if there were no one to listen? What would be the pointin leading a political party if there were no members of the party? Do you see? A leader needs followers, or he is not a leader, he is just another man like you or I.So what makes this man different, this leader without followers (which is surely a paradox (
(logic) a statement that contradicts itself
)). That we will find out!Have you ever met someone who
tried to convert you to something or other, or got you to joinsome organisation or campaign? We turn up and here is the leader speaking trying to convince us of the evilsof immigration, the power of the lord, the need to save the rainforest, and a multitude of other (sometimesworthwhile) ideas. Have you noticed how convincing some of them are? ”Yes. I will join the national party.The black man is taking our jobs!” “Yes, I agree. The only way we can free the animals from the animaltesting laboratories is to start killing those who work there.” “Yes I see, the capitalist is evil, and needs to bestopped by any means necessary.” “Would I wear a bomb? Sure! Why not?”
Oh, we are so easily convinced!
Why are we so easily convinced? Because that is the leader's job. Nothing more. He is not there to have anopen discussion on the subject, he is trying to get you to follow him, and if you do, he has done his job. Itdoesn't matter if he was convincing you to make jam for the summer fair to help the needy in the community,or convince you to attack parliament with a suicide bomb.First, he gives you some background information, then uses some clever words so that his suggestionappeals to your mind, then he gets you to sign up. Easy! Like I said, we are so easily convinced, because wedo not take the time to explore with our own minds. If we did, we may not follow quite so quickly.But who is this leader I speak of? He says nothing to inspire you. He asks nothing from you. He does notwant nor need followers, and he has no aims nor manifestos, nor ideas. He just is.“So what makes him a leader?” I can hear you ask, “he clearly does not fit the definition of what we knowa leader to be.”To which my reply is “exactly!”We have all been told to live this way or that way, think this, think that, become this, become that, don't