The Pros and Cons of Being a Leader or Follower

Working in a leadership roleIn everything that you do, there are both pros and cons. That is true when it comes to choosing to be a leader or a follower. But, did you know that you can be both? Some of the very best leaders are those who know how to step out of the way and let others shine. They know how to play to someone’s strengths and weaknesses, how to take the lead, and when necessary, how to get out of the way.

“I am reminded how hollow the label of leadership sometimes is and how heroic followership can be.” ~ Warren Bennis

Leadership Benefits Include:

Respect — When you are a leader, especially if you are a good leader you’ll garner the respect and admiration of others.

Self-Respect — When you do good, you feel good. Being a leader that helped a lot of people do good makes that self-respect magnified.

Cons of Leadership Include:

Long Hours — As a leader, if others don’t step up to the plate to help you’ll end up working long hours on something and often times alone.

Lots of Responsibility — Sometimes, depending on what you are doing, the shear enormity of the responsibility on your shoulders can be a lot to handle.

Follower Benefits Include:

Less Responsibility — You won’t have to work as long hours, and you won’t end up taking up the slack of others.

Less Stress — Due to not having to spend sleepless nights doing all the work, you won’t be as stressed out.

Follower Cons Include:

Less Ability to Make Decisions — When you are the follower you have to ensure that you pick good leaders because you will be relying on them to make good decisions.

Being Dependent on Others — It can be hard to be dependent on others to express and manage a vision to fruition.

Leadership

These are the typical pros and cons to leadership and following often listed in books about how to become a leader. But, these definitions often leave people feeling bad about following. The thing is, sometimes being a follower is the right thing as long as you’ve chosen a good leader with sound morals, and good judgment who is capable of being a trustworthy leader.

If you are a natural leader it’s good to sometimes let others shine as a leader when it is appropriate. Letting others step up into leadership roles can be very empowering for you because just because you’re the follower doesn’t mean you give up your morals and good judgment. It just means that you are capable of taking direction from someone who has a good vision of where the group wants to go.