Do you remember playing Follow the Leader on the playgrounds at school? One of the kids would be nominated as the person who’d lead the way and you’d follow them everywhere and copy everything they did. Was this person really a leader? Or was it the first kid who bought his Gameboy to school and spent all lunchtime engrossed in his mesmerising game?
Now we’re all grown up and we still follow appointed leaders… Like people in the government who announce their big decisions and then life as we know it changes. Yet regardless of how honourable they are, it may be people like Steve Jobs who’ve been the most powerful leaders in our society. Let’s be honest, we’d be living in a very different world without our Apple devises.
So how do these mysterious leaders manage to sneak in and influence us like they do?
There was this other game growing up, called Hide and Seek. We like hiding. We like to keep some things a secret. We all have our little quirks, ideas and values that could be potentially embarrassing if people were to discover them. And people are judgmental, so sometimes it’s just safer to keep some things a secret.
The kid with the Gameboy wasn’t afraid to look like a loner and play by himself. He was pretty convinced he was onto something great. And now, we too spend much of our “social lives” in a world of our own, staring at the little screens on our devises.
An influencer… Someone whose decisions shape and alter the choices that others make. Someone who redefines normality. Someone who has the ability to change everything.
I feel like the most potentially influential leaders could actually be hiding amongst us… but they’re wearing a disguise that makes them look normal.
People with big ideas, skills, convictions, passion and tenacity to seriously shape the world we live in.
Is it you? Is it me? Are you our mystery leader that could change the way we see the world or cause us to reconsider the way we do life?
I think I know where my favourite hiding spots are in this big game of Hide and Seek.
It’s a serious temptation for a leader to withdraw, to hold back, compromise, tone down your excitement, to just look like everyone else, to settle with where you’re at…
Ah safe in the background.
…with no influence.
Influential leaders ARE weird… they never look like the people around them. Often they do look like loners, their decisions do shock people, they’re misunderstood, judged, questioned and labeled as over-enthusiastic.
Maybe cos you make people uncomfortable. They’re confronted by your passion, purity and dedication because it causes them to assess their own reality. What are they doing that makes a difference?
Your quirkiness is your influence.
That kid with the Gameboy? He was probably only a loner for a week before he became the coolest kid in school.
And remember that nerd who was always studying who now is a Lawyer? Remember that odd girl with the high standards who’d never kissed a guy, who’s now married and changing the world with her hot husband? You know that guy who served week after week passionately putting out chairs and now he’s the world-changing Youth Pastor?
I reckon your “weird” decisions and quirkiness could catch on someday… people will see the results of your persistence and reluctance to compromise and most likely come to respect you. You’ll be in favourable positions, doing significant things and leading the way…
And I’m guessing they’ll be following you.
You may cringe with discomfort as you come out of hiding… but I reckon it’s probably worth it.
And we all need you to be weird and change the world.