Follow the Leader… but which one?

Do this, do that.  No!  You’re doing it wrong, because you’re doing it right!  That’s my job!  Hey, 8:00 means 8:00, not 7:59!  Who’s the boss?  Who is it?  Common flashes of imagination that flood our minds when we think of bosses, or more broadly, leadership or forced authority in general.  Let’s face the facts, most people – probably you included *cough* –  don’t like authority.  Not many people enjoy the feeling of someone with power constantly over your shoulder, but there is another side to leadership than you witness from day to day.  Today, let’s venture into the field of leadership, and find out what makes the best leader.

Appointed Leaders:  Men who are given the title of leader and are put in charge of a group of people.  These leaders are formally appointed, hence the name, and they hold the authority over their team members.

Expert Leaders:  One of the most influential types of leaders.  This leader is never formally appointed or given the title of team captain.  He is often a member of the team, and works to influence or inspire the team using his expertise.  He competes not to be named a leader, for that would take from him the value of his knowledge.

I ask you, which of these leaders is better?  To explain, a short story:

Deep within the jungle, there lived a nomadic tribe of monkeys.  They were rowdy, unkempt, and lived in constant chaos and anarchy.  One day, the Brown Monkey, one of the wiser of the tribe decided that they needed a leader, someone with official power over the tribe. 

“Here me, monkeys!  I say to you; we need a leader, one appointed to rule us.  We live in the moment, and are often never prepared for anything at all.  We need a formal leader to keep the peace and to keep us in check!  I appoint, given the power that has not been bestowed upon me considering the fact that we have no leader, The Black Monkey!”  The Brown Monkey howled, and his cohorts cheered in approval.  The Black Monkey was put in power, and he saw to it that the tribe prospered.  They settled down, and the quarrels and disputes that often took place quietened.  Squabbles over food or territory ended.  The Black Monkey screeched in excitement one afternoon as he looked over his realm. 

“Oh!  What peace, what prosperity I have brought forth!  By bringing forth appointed rule we have now established a chain of command for these ruffians to follow!”  The Black Monkey grunted and he began to walk away, but just as he was doing so, he overheard the strangest of conversations between two of his close friends.

“Did you hear of the White Monkey?”  The Green Monkey whispered to his companion.

“Oh yes!  While the Black Monkey has created an imperishable system, the rumor goes that the White Monkey holds the true hearts of the tribe!”  The Blue Monkey grinned.

“Of course, but how?  He is no elected leader!”

“No, but he has something else with him.  The love of the tribe.  Somehow, he has managed to influence the hearts and minds of the monkeys.  Some even claim that it was him, not the Black Monkey that solved the squabbles of the land.”

“How interesting,”  the Black Monkey muttered.  “I must find this White Monkey and see exactly how he accomplished all that my companions say he did.”

A few days followed, and the Black Monkey had the White Monkey found and brought to him. 

“Tell me friend, the forest animals say that you have a greater influence than I, the leader do.  Tell me, is this true?”

“Black Monkey, would all due respect, I do agree to all that you have said.  My influence is greater in this forest.  Would you like to know why?”  The White Monkey asked.

“Oh, joy!  Share your divine secrets with me, White one.”  The Black Monkey hooted and scratched an itch in his rear

“Well, Black Monkey, I couldn’t have done all that I have done without you.  You are what I call an appointed leader, one who is set in place for the purpose of bringing in order, but my expert leadership is what ended the squabbles and more.  I inspired the tribe, I brought them to peace and ended their disputes.  I influenced the monkeys with my expert leadership which gave me power among the people.  Power I can use to do even more good.  I couldn’t have done it without you, a formal leader bringing order to the scene, but an expert leader needs no name or fame.  An expert leader doesn’t need to be appointed.  He’s just another of the the tribe, one that leads them without ever raising a command.”  The White Monkey excused himself, and left the palace of Black Monkey, leaving him stunned and awe-struck.

“He’s right. He is absolutely right.”

Which type of leader is more important? Well they both hold an equal amount of importance. Without an ordained leader everything has the chance of falling into anarchy, but without an expert leader you’re just blindly following an appointed leader. Some leaders a hybrid of both, which makes the best type of leader. The point is, never complain because you don’t hold a title or more, for even a member of the team can become the most powerful leading force of all…

2 thoughts on “Follow the Leader… but which one?

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