Free Essay

Follow the Leader


Submitted By stanlee314
Words 1080
Pages 5
David Dinkins
English 102
Ashley McWaters

No where in the world is there a movement of animals as immense as the wildebeest migration, over two million animals migrate from the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania to the greener pastures of the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya during July through to October. The migration has to cross the Mara River in the Maasai Mara where crocodiles will prey on them. This is one of the highlights as the animals try and cross the Mara River alive. The wildebeest in this photograph have discovered that the threat of amphibious predators is all too real. The two in the lead are narrowly escaping the gaping maw of a hungry croc, as the two behind follow the ones in front. Strangely enough, the two wildebeest just behind the crocodile don’t seem to comprehend the ever present danger. They’ve been following other wildebeest in the herd for so long that they know no other existence but as a follower. Which brought up in my mind this question: “why do they not see the danger”? After doing a bit of research on the migration tactics of the native species, I discovered an interesting phenomenon. In the Maasai Mara wildebeest will be hunted, stalked, and run down by the larger carnivores. The Maasai Mara also has one of the largest densities of lion in the world and is no wonder this is the home of the BBC wildlife channel’s Big Cat Diary. The fact that danger exists on all sides should keep the wildebeest aware at all times. And they are, but not independently. There is what appears to be a natural phenomenon when one analyses the migration patterns of the wildebeest as they pertain to reactions to danger. When crossing a river, the lead wildebeest will carefully and very prudently decide which section of the river is the safest to cross. After many long moments of tactical observation, the lead makes its move. This wildebeest has decided that the route it chose looked to be the safest, and it wastes no time in taking it. Either the wildebeest makes it across the river or it dies struggling until the bitter end. But this doesn’t dissuade or even alarm the other wildebeest. When the first one makes its leap, the rest follow suit with no time wasted. As I pondered why the wildebeest in tow of the lead blindly ignore the imminent danger, I discovered that the answer was much more interesting than I had anticipated. To a certain extent, wildebeest are a lot like horses. They respond to visual, auditory, and even aromatic stimuli. These sensory abilities are enhanced in situations of extreme anxiety or danger, which seems to shut off any tact or care taken to avoid obvious danger. Once the herd is stimulated by the movement of the first individual wildebeest making its move, they all crowd in without a second thought. Further research revealed to me something even more intriguing. The herd of wildebeest is comparable to a hive of bees or a colony of ants in that it operates almost as a hive mind. When a dominant figure in the herd makes a move here or there, none of the herd members challenge it. They don’t even take the time required to make a separate decision, the only time they have is enough to either survive with the herd or die alone from any one of the many dangers that their environment holds for them. So based on the context I have laid out, the message I created could be understood quite literally. But I seek to address a deeper and more relevant topic. I believe that people act too much like wildebeest. Now, before some of you wince at the idea of smelling like dried lake water and funk, constantly swatting flies away from your backside, let me appeal to your imagination. Imagine that we are the wildebeest, all seeking to survive together as the human race. There are many dangers present in this world that seek to snuff each and every one of us out, either directly or inadvertently. Some of these dangers are sown by fellow human beings, others are simply unfortunate incidents catalyzed by nature itself. So why is it that, in an environment filled with people, ideals, or natural phenomenon that could potentially mean our end, no one seeks to think on their own? Why is it that no one pursues their own education beyond simple scholarly pursuits? Why is it that the youth of this generation rely on twitter feeds to inform them culturally and socially? Why is it that people believe everything they see or hear on the news or radio, even though the information being given is simple one facet of the actual truth? Why is it that young men and women are unable or unwilling to make their own decisions and simply follow the direction of their friends who are, in turn, following the direction of theirs? Do we not realize that by following fellow “herd members” into the mouth of danger also puts us at risk? The image draws the viewer in primarily by virtue of the action. Wildebeest are kicking and fighting to evade the many teeth of a dominant predator so keen on their destruction, it will go after more than one at a time. Water splashes in the air as calamity sets in. The rest of the herd becomes anxious and can’t resist knee-jerk reactions. They all go for it at once. The wildebeest in the rear are directly in the face of imminent and life threatening danger, yet the stimulation of movement and activity by the lead wildebeest far outweighs their fear of death. They cannot think individually, they must all move as a single organism. And this is exactly what will happen if we keep blindly following popular members of the majority, pertaining to the societal voice, who have no idea what they’re talking about or how to truly live. Stop waiting on other people who don’t have your best interest in mind to give you some kind of answer to the questions you have, as if you’re unable to come to these conclusions on your own. You have a bright mind, it may not work the way you expected it to but it works. Be the master of your own decisions, leave a legacy of self education and self awareness.

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Difference Between Transaction and Transformational Leadership Style

...its name suggests, is a leadership style which lays emphasis on the transaction between leader and his or her subordinates. Conversely, Transformational Leadership is a type which becomes reasons for the transformation (change) in the subordinates. It will also discuss on five significant differences between the two leadership styles (MSG Experts 2016) Leadership is a process by which an executive can direct, guide and influence the behaviour and work of others towards accomplishment of specific goals in a given situation. Leadership is the ability of a manager to induce the subordinates to work with confidence and zeal. Leadership is the potential to influence behaviour of others (MSG Experts 2016). For example, in a school, a headmaster practices leadership when he directs, guides and influence behaviours of his members of staff. Leadership is also defined as the capacity to influence a group towards the realization of a goal. Leaders are required to develop future visions, and to motivate the organizational members to want to achieve the visions. According to Davis (2014), “Leadership is the ability to persuade others to seek defined objectives enthusiastically. It is the human factor which binds a group together and motivates it towards goals.” Leadership style refers to a leader's characteristic behaviours when directing, motivating, guiding and managing groups of people. Great leaders can inspire political movements and social change. They can also motivate others...

Words: 2506 - Pages: 11

Premium Essay

Management and Leadership

...of any company or business is sound then the company can survive on its own, earn profits and even follow the path of growth. But without proper management even the strongest of leaderships can falter and even fail in the process of achieving the set goals and fulfilling the vision. Thus leadership in an organization is an asset whilst management is an essential component. Although, the concept of leadership and management are different from each other, both of the terms are often used interchangeably. The characteristics of both the concepts are quite same as each other similarly; both the concepts are used for similar purposes. The difference between management and leadership can be defined as: Leadership provides new vision or direction to a group of people (followers) and this group generally follows the leader; who acts as a spear head in moving towards the new direction. Management is the process of monitoring and controlling any resources according to already established values and/ vision. The concept of leadership and management cannot simply be differentiated as black or white. This is due to the fact that both roles have same fundamental characteristics and similar attributes. The general differentiation between the two concepts as suggested by many studies is in essence a differentiation between a good leader and a bad manager and not simply of a leader...

Words: 2020 - Pages: 9

Free Essay

Organizational Culture

...recommendation will be given on how leader’s individual organizational members give voice to their cultural perspectives in a way that helps the leader make better decisions to achieve organizational mission and vision. An explanation of the recommendations and action steps that will help leaders make higher quality decisions based on what was discussed will be given. Robbin and Judge discusses the rational decision making model that should be followed to make sound decisions, but has found out the model is not followed by leaders. Robbin and Judge (2011) state “rational decision making model relies on a number of assumptions, including that the decision maker has complete information, is able to identify all the relevant options in a unbiased manner, and chooses the option with the highest utility (p. 178).” “Irrational decision making is without the faculty of reason; deprived of reason (Dictionary, 2011, par. 1).” Irrational decision making is usually deprived of emotion. Robbin and Judge (2011) states “the inability to express emotion takes away from the ability to reason (p. 104).” Leaders cannot make sound psychological decisions because organizational culture does not allow he or she to think and feel without considering what is best for the organization. Organizational culture determines the organizations performance. Leaders are trained...

Words: 1096 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

John C Maxwell Leadership 101

...John C. Maxwell’s Leadership 101 Executive Summary: Leadership 101-- The five levels of leadership Did you know that each of us influences at least ten thousand other people during our lifetime? Maxwell wants us to know that it is not whether we will influence someone, but how we will use our influence. Influence is the measure of leadership and we can increase our influence and leadership potential if we understand the levels of leadership. Maxwell states that real leadership is being the person who others will gladly and confidently follow. Each and every one of us is a leader in some way—we are constantly influencing other people around us. According to Maxwell, everyone has the capability to climb up the five different levels of leadership-- not everyone will become a great leader, but everyone can become a better leader. The qualities of a great leader that are developed along the different levels of leadership include personal humility, professional will, and building a legacy—but it seems that Maxwell places the most importance on building a legacy. Maxwell’s 5 levels of leadership are similar and different when compared to our Level 5 Hierarchy. Maxwell’s 5 levels of leadership are: Level 1- Position (Rights), Level 2-- Permission (relationships), Level 3- Production (Results), Level 4- People Development (Reproduction), & Level 5- Personhood (Respect). The paper compares and contrasts Maxwell’s 5 Levels of Leadership to the Level 5 Hierarchy Leadership model...

Words: 1910 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

Leaders and Managers

...definitions of leadership; some are as follows: ‘Leadership is a combination of traits and skills forming a personality with clear-cut characteristics that cause others trust and follow or collaborate with that leader. Leadership is the ability to cause others to perform at high levels for the good of the overall organization’ (Dorsey, 1999) ‘Leadership is the ability to influence others, especially in getting others to reach challenging goals.’ (Chapman & O’Neil, 2000) ‘Leadership is the ability to influence, inspire, motivate or affect the thoughts, feelings and actions of others. It is sustained influence over others, shaping the course of events and bending the will of others by word or by personal example’. (Espinosa, 1997) Two ultimate goals of a good leader should be: 1. Involvement of staff as well as of the leader 2. The essential element of change It is assumed that leadership involves at least two people, one to lead and one to follow. If no one is willing to follow, then there can be no leader. Thus, part of the leader’s role is to motivate others to follow. Leaders must, in some manner, influence the prospective followers so that they will become actual followers. Leaders must also guide followers to work toward the changes described in the organization’s vision and mission statement. This implies that leaders are persons with vision and should have inspired / guided their followers to work together and with their leaders had created a vision for the organization...

Words: 272 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Dr Martin Office Case Study

...The Leadership Challenge, Chapter 1, two leaders were profiled - Dick and Claire.  Using the actions of either of these two leaders, provide an example that illustrates each of the 5 Practices of Exemplary Leadership. Here is a list of the five practices of exemplary leadership that I found after researching these topics on the Internet: * Model the way- Claire treats her employees with respect and models the way that employees should treat each other * Inspire a shared vision- Claire wants to create a business with people she trusts and shares the same vision with. * Challenge the process- Dick challenges everyone to make new vision into a reality * Enable others to act- Dick sets aside 3 days to listen to people and encourage them to achieve goals. * Encourage the heart- Dick believes that everyone wants to win and encourages employees 2. Make a list of the values, personal traits, or characteristics you look for and admire in a leader.  You might use the following list of examples or create your own.  Note that the following list represents a summary/categorization of hundreds of different values, traits and characteristics identified from surveys asking people to respond to this open-ended question.  Identify 7 qualities that you most look for and admire in a leader, someone whose direction you would willingly follow.  The key word is willingly.  What do you expect from a leader that you would follow, not because you have to, but because you...

Words: 355 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Full Range Leadership

...According to Bruce Avolio, “What we have clearly learned is that leaders who can balance transactional and transformational leadership across time, situations, and challenges are the most effective” (Avolio 2011, 49). “People have a greater sense of ownership at the highest levels in terms of identification and are willing to provide the extra effort needed to succeed” (Avolio 2011, 49). Yet, Rusty Ricketson wrote, “Those who embrace the followerfirst perspective are not dependent on titles or positions in order to gain a sense of identity and worth. They understand that good leaders are good followers” (Ricketson 2014, 197). Although Avolio supports Full Range Leadership and Ricketson support Following-Leaders there are both differences and similarities in each perspective. Ricketson wrote, “One of the unique aspects of being a Following-Leader is that those who embrace the followerfirst perspective only need be who they are within the organization and, by default, they become Following-Leaders” (Ricketson 2014, 199). In contrast, Avolio shared, “Yet, although transformational leadership across time, organizations, cultures, and individuals seem to be the most effective form of leadership, it is important to reemphasize that without the more positive forms of transactional leadership such as setting expectations and goals, as well as monitoring performance, leaders and those lead would be limited in their ability to succeed” (Avolio 2011, 49). When faithful followers...

Words: 1115 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay


...leadership styles. In this study, I found that transformational and transactional leadership styles are the ones that are commonly used in organizations. The leadership of an organization plays a very important role of the organization. Leadership is one of main areas of study today in professional training. There are a number of books, articles, and research papers written on how we define leadership in the public sector, as well as how it affects the organization. Some leaders are born into the role, such as royalty, where there have been some notable successes and failures. Other leaders become leaders simply because other people choose to follow them. Researchers have been studying the definition of leadership for many years with different results but most agree that leaders have a perceived influence on the organization. Sauer (2011) Most individuals who read these articles are interested, not in the intricacies of leadership, but how they can development into a better leader to help their organization. (DeRue, 2009) The purpose of my study is to examine the following research question, “How the leadership of an organization has an affect on the employees and the organization? So we say, “What exactly is leadership? First, in order to lead one must make an impact on...

Words: 3553 - Pages: 15

Premium Essay

What Are The Similarities Between The Milgram Experiment And Lord Of The Flies

...The Lord of the Flies and “Milgram Experiment” The lost boys in The Lord of the Flies have many similarities with the test subjects of the “Milgram Experiment”. The boys will listen to whoever the strongest leader is and obey them no matter what, and the subjects in the “Milgram Experiment” do the same. Obedience is focused on power and respect and many people, fictional or real, will listen to the strongest ruler due to their influence over them.The Lord of the Flies and the Obedience to Authority Experiments have many similarities, especially the idea of obedience to leaders and why some people follow orders without thinking. The boys in the Lord of the Flies were only influenced by the power of their leader. Whether they thought Ralph...

Words: 501 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay


...charisma, and integrity. These are all important because they show what being a leader is about. There are also many different ways you can gain leadership. You can learn from people who are already leaders or you can learn how to present yourself in a good manner by your appearance and your language. There are 5 levels of leadership they are: * Position (Rights) - people follow because they have to. * Permission (Relationships) - people follow because they want to. * Production (Results) – people follow because of what you have done for the organization. * People Development (Reproduction) – people follow because of what you have done for them. * Personhood (Respect) – people follow because of who you are and what you represent. I’m a leader because of the things I do; I feel by me coming to college I am setting an example for my younger siblings. I think I show leadership by being the person I am today, I am a good person kind hearted and nice to people. I am a well-organized person, I help my community by volunteering and I think that is a big part of being a leader. By showing you are willing to help the people that are in need when nobody asked you to; you do it on your own. And that also set examples for others people that can make them feel like they want to do something. And to me that seem like that plays a great role in leadership. There are lots of things that can lead a leader to success 6 key qualities are: 1. Being a good listener- this is important...

Words: 946 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

The Differences Between Leaders and Managers

...The Differences Between Leaders And Managers Leadership and management are two notions that are often used interchangeably. However, these words actually describe two different concepts. Leadership is just one of the many assets a successful manager must possess. Care must be taken in distinguishing between the two concepts. The main aim of a manager is to maximize the output of the organization through administrative implementation. Leadership is just one important component of the directing function. A manager cannot just be a leader, he also needs formal authority to be effective. Managers think incrementally, whilst leaders think radically. "Managers do things right, while leaders do the right thing." [2]. This means that managers do things by the book and follow company policy, while leaders follow their own intuition, which may in turn be of more benefit to the company. A leader is more emotional than a manager. "Men are governed by their emotions rather than their intelligence" [3]. This quotation illustrates why teams choose to follow leaders. A leader is someone who people naturally follow through their own choice, whereas a manager must be obeyed. A manager may only have obtained his position of authority through time and loyalty given to the company, not as a result of his leadership qualities. A leader may have no organizational skills, but his vision unites people behind him. Managers have a position of authority vested in them by the company, and...

Words: 544 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay


...differences between a Leader and a Boss? Leadership is defined as the ability to influence a group toward the achievement of goals or vision. Differences between a Leader and a Boss: i. Source of Authority: Leader gets the source of authority from his or her following. For leaders that have the subordinate, when they want to lead they have to give up formal authoritarian control because to lead is to have followers, and following is always a voluntary activity. Boss obtains the source of authority through the formal authority from outside of the group that s/he is managing. S/he has a position of authority vested in them by the company and their subordinates work for them and largely do as they are told. ii. Influences vs Formal Authority: Leader influences group. For leaders, telling people what to do does not inspire them to follow you. Leaders normally has to lead by example by appealing to them, showing how following them will lead to their hearts' desire. They must want to follow you enough to stop what they are doing and perhaps walk into danger and situations that they would not normally consider risking. Leaders with a stronger charisma find it easier to attract people to their cause. As a part of their persuasion they typically promise transformational benefits, such that their followers will not just receive extrinsic rewards but will somehow become better people. Boss-ship often uses formal authority to get the followers or subordinate to follow his or her...

Words: 1058 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Leadership: Are Good Leaders Made or Born?

...Leadership: Are Good Leaders Made Or Born? Heather Brown Social Psychology Dr. Alyson Kohl National University Abstract Many studies have taken place to decide whether people are naturally born to lead or whether those traits are developed and taught over time. Different traits combine to make good leaders, such as ambition, intelligence, and self-confidence. In this paper I will discuss whether these traits are naturally within someone or can they be taught over time. Leadership: Are Good Leaders Made Or Born? How is a good leader defined? Are they charismatic, smart, an over achiever? A Leader, is defined as a person who is “appointed, elected, or informally chosen to direct and co-ordinate the work of others in a group”. A leader and leader-ship are two very different things. To lead you need to be able to influence groups of people socially [ (Kassin, Fein, & Markus, 2014) ]. Without influence, it would be hard to have people want to follow you. Leaders influence people to work together to accomplish a variety of goals. Leaders can be found in all aspects of life, at work and at play. Psychologists have conducted studies to identify what traits are common to “natural-born leaders”. Some of the common traits that great leaders have been defined in the Great Person Theory of history ( [ (Kassin, Fein, & Markus, 2014) ]. Ambition, intelligence, and self-confidence are just a few of traits that great leaders throughout time have had in common. The...

Words: 1345 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Leadership in a Correctional Facility

...key areas of leadership. These areas were further investigated in an effort to better describe leadership methods that can be deployed within a correctional facility with the intent of increasing productivity and staff satisfaction. These key areas included exploring the difference between being a supervisor and a leader, expectations of both leaders and followers, setting the example, creating a common goal, empowering others, rewarding accomplishments as well as providing leadership succession planning for the organization. The results of this research showed that leadership is vital to the success of correctional facilities and that the time and expense required in developing leaders will result in a better operating facility. Leadership in a Correctional Facility Leadership vs. Supervision defines leadership as “the position or function of a leader, a person who guides or directs a group; ability to lead; an act or instance of leading; guidance; direction; the leader of a group” (, 2014). For the purposes of this paper the definition provided by is inadequate and fails to capture the soul of a true leader. According to Peak (2012), leadership within a criminal justice organization is defined as “the process of influencing organizational members to use their energies willingly and appropriately to facilitate the achievement of the agency’s goals” (pp. 37-38). This definition captures the essence of what it...

Words: 1922 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay


...Police must follow B. Rules that Private Security must follow III. Public Policing restrictions Vs. Private Security A. Restrictions in Public Policing B. Restrictions in Private Security IV. Public Policing bosses Vs. Private Security Bosses A. Who are the leaders/Bosses of Public Police B. Who are the leaders/Bosses of Private Security V. Public Policing Salaries Vs. Private Security Salaries A. Public Police Salaries B. Private Security Salaries VI. Conclusion Project Sub-topics: I. Job Requirements between Public Policing Vs. Private Security A. Job Requirements for Public Policing B. Job Requirements for Private Security II. Public Policing rules Vs. Private Security Rules A. Rules that Public Police must follow B. Rules that Private Security must follow III. Public Policing restrictions Vs. Private Security A. Restrictions in Public Policing B. Restrictions in Private Security IV. Public Policing bosses Vs. Private Security Bosses A. Who are the leaders/Bosses of Public Police B. Who are the leaders/Bosses of Private Security V. Public Policing Salaries Vs. Private Security Salaries A. Public Police Salaries B. Private Security Salaries VI. Conclusion Project Sub-topics: I. Job Requirements between Public Policing Vs. Private Security A. Job Requirements for Public Policing B. Job Requirements for Private Security II. Public Policing rules Vs. Private Security Rules A. Rules that Public Police must follow B. Rules...

Words: 322 - Pages: 2