Why is ‘follower’ a bad word?

In the Big Think video below, Simon Sinek, talks about vision and how we now live in a world where everyone is pressured to have a novel, exciting vision if they want to be considered a valued player in our world’s economy.

He argues that not everyone needs to come up with an original vision and that it’s fine to be a follower of someone else’s vision. After all, if everyone is encouraged to be a leader, then who’s left to be led? Now at some point, being a follower has become a bad thing. It probably has to do with our simple minds focusing on the spotlight because we can’t focus on everything at the same time. So we reserve most of our attention and admiration to those in the spotlight, such as leaders/visionaries.

However, just because our minds tend to fall for a simplistic view of the world (because it’s easier & more glamorous), it doesn’t mean that this is the way the world actually works. People who are considered followers can & do lead gratifying lives and be just as proud of their work as anyone else. It may sound obvious, but sometimes we forget obvious facts when the world around us keeps trying to force a certain idea into our minds.

With all that said, Sinek does talk about the important of having a direction. Because while you don’t necessarily need to be a leader to achieve great things, you do need to have a direction in order to reach a specific destination; otherwise, you’re likely to be stumbling around and not making the best use of your time & energy.

Speaking from personal experience, finding direction isn’t easy either. When you have a wide field of interests, having to choose one over the all other paths that you believe you’ll love is very difficult and feels limiting. Everyone says that a jack of all trades is a master of none, but I’ve come to learn that while that is true, someone can find a lucrative balance. But the way to get to that balance can’t be to pursue many directions at once, unless you’re a super-human, then good on you! The better way to pursue multiple interests is to tackle them one by one, reaching what you consider a good depth in each before moving on to the next.