The person who is at the head of the group is not the leader. They are just the person that is being followed. A leader considers far more aspects than their own wants. They have a vision for the future, they consider the consequences of their actions to those around them, they accept responsibility for their actions.

An ignorant person just heads in a direction without thought, and sometimes others walk that same path in the blind faith that the person at the head of the group knows what they are doing. Sometimes there is an error of authority, because that person at the head of the group has a title, such as Doctor, or CEO or some such. A title does not entitle you to leadership, your consideration of others, vision of the future, plan of action, ability to listen to others in conceiving your plans, and your acceptance of responsibility make you a candidate for leadership. A title only means you have earned a certain status within a narrow field. A doctor is someone who can inform you accurately about medical facts and determine the most likely best solution to a medical problem, but being a doctor does not mean you know anything about leadership. Nor does it mean you don’t, it just means you are in the same boat as everyone else.

Sometimes we find ourselves accidental leaders. It is up to us to “wo/man up” and accept the burden – all of it – or step down and let someone else do it. This can be complicated by other people looking to us for leadership – we want to live up to their expectations, to feel like we are the important person they think we are. Yet if we cannot full fill the role, we should get out and let someone else fill it who can do it justice. There are also times where it seems no one else can do it, and if we don’t then the consequences seem large. This is actually a rare situation, generally it is our ego that propel us to think we can fill that vital gap. In the rare instance where the group could fold, the business fail, or the whole party die, often let the group fold, the business fail and so on. Don’t let the party die – do your best. But keep reminding people you aren’t qualified for this job and are looking for a better candidate to pass the reigns over to.

Good leaders aren’t just anyone, they are well trained and experienced people. If you find yourself following a leader, always ask – do they know what they are doing, are they following the rules or breaking guidelines intelligently, is this the group I want to be in if this is the leader? You don’t have to follow a leader. Quite that job, find another group, or go on your own.

You have choices, let’s see you chose intelligently.