So enamored with the idea of creating myself into a leader, I embarrassingly nicknamed myself the ‘Forest Fox,” when I was a teen. Yeah, jus’ like Revolutionary war General Francis Marion, the ‘Swamp Fox,’ or German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, dubbed the ‘Desert Fox.”
In the military, I was passed over for positions of leadership because I was too ‘gung-ho,’ – which I mistook in my youthful ignorance as a compliment. Looking back, I realized my neck was good and stiff – making me a danger not only to myself – to but others.
There’s very little difference between a title and a label if the person given either has not earned or deserves it.
Oh, sure, I’ve been put in charge at various workplaces but then any schlep can cajole others, but it takes that special person to lead that proverbial ‘horse to water’ and too ‘get them to drink’ as well. Getting that ‘horse to drink’ has never been my forte’.
Time after time, I’ve made myself into a boss, which spelled backwards is “Double S-O-B.”
And I’m an even worse follower — who’s willing to bet that if you’ve ever defended your actions saying, “I thought…” you aren’t a follower either. After all – lets be honest here — ‘not thinking’ is the number one rule of a real follower.
Certainly, I’ve done some following in my day. It generally ended poorly with me in trouble because I got caught thinking or I was heading down a path I shouldn’t have been on.
When we’re truthful with ourselves, we know who we are.
Yet there is still a yearning in me that wants to do…what? Manage, command, direct, head up, rule, conduct, control, guide, pace, shepherd, skipper, supervise – nope, none of these fit.
Maybe I’m meant to inspire. Affect, animate, arouse, cause, embolden, excite, influence, instill, motivate, provoke, spark, spur, stir, trigger…take your pick.
Yeah, I like the idea of inspiring, so I’ll leave the leading to others. The difference between the two is slight – but wider than the Grand Canyon.