As I am studying in a doctoral leadership program…one question we are constantly asked is “what type of leader are you” and “what type of follower are you?” Those seem like easy to answer questions but when you have to write and think about them constantly, they become harder and harder to answer. The more I think about the more I realize how OCD I am when it comes to getting things done. Some may say I am extremely OCD because I want things done a certain way, in a certain time frame and I bring an expectation of doing it the right way the first time. Is that always a possibility? Usually yes…but not always!
I have had to learn over the past several months that I need to let go of the things I cannot fix and focus on the things that I can control! How often do we “waste” our energy on worries that truth be told, we could worry about but it does not good! Instead it just ends up giving us ulcers or for people like me…stresses me out so bad I hurt ten times more! Life is far more precious than to be “wasted” but our worries!
I tend to think that while it is important to learn how I lead…I also have to first be able to follow! A follower doesn’t need to think that he or she is never going to be a leader. In fact many times a leader is not someone who necessarily has a title or “job” that says he or she is a leader. A leader can very well be a “follower” who motivates, inspires and communicates in such a way that colleagues/friends/etc. are willing to follow making the person in a sense a “leader.”
Consider carefully how you act and realize that you impact sooo many people – in your personal life, in your work like, and in your social life. You never know you could be the next “leader” in the group! And if you do become a leader what will your expectations of others be? What will your attitude be? How will you treat those who work with you or for you?
These questions may be easier to answer now if you are not a leader. When you are actually in the ‘hot seat” they may be harder still to answer. BUT remember that you have to lead in a healthy way! For me I need to remember what to worry about and stress about the “important” things and not the little things. You and I have heard the saying “pick your battles” and as a leader this fact does not change. In fact you MUST pick your battles!
An extra tidbit for those of us who do struggle with the limitations (if you want to call it that) of our RA, Fibromaylgia or other invisible disease. I say “pace yourself” and “rest”! I have found myself up until 2-3:3a.m. every night the last two weeks! Does it get exhausting YES! But I am thankful I have taught myself that I need to rest. When I know I need a nap, I take a nap! When I know I need just an extra hour of sleep (granted I don’t get enough), I take it! You have to be able to take care of yourself before you can take care of those around you!