The Surviving Leader and Follower

Have you ever led something in your life? Have you ever faced difficulties when leading a team, events, or projects? 

Many of us probably have had such experiences in life. Even when leading the smallest things, obstacles always come along the way. If you have not had the chance to lead anything yet, hopefully, this article will benefit you in guiding you to become a great leader and a great follower as well.

My experience of leading and following have taught me a lot in my career and also in my personal life. It teaches me how to become a better leader and follower in every step of my life, and today I’m still struggling to learn to become what I aspire to be - a successful person

To me, the biggest obstacle when becoming a leader is to ensure that everyone in your team is a team player and brings out the best of everyone by giving them the opportunity to develop. On the other hand, the hardest thing when becoming a follower is -surprisingly, to follow a leader, who you might love or hate, and contribute the best for your team and your leader. The key takeaway from both roles is all about people – understanding human behavior and how to handle situations when it comes out of hand.

Let’s talk about leading. There are times when your team members in the team tend to create problems. This is common, you can’t get all good apples in a basket, there will be at least a rotten apple or not so nice apple compared to the rest of the apples. 

The responsibility of a leader is to support your team member when they face a problem. We don’t want any team members to feel that they are not being listened to when they are needed the most. As a follower or even a leader, we need to post-mortem our mistakes and make room for improvement. 
Here are several learning points as a leader and a follower from experiences:

As a leader, you need to try and fix the rotten apple, provided if the rotten apple wants to be fixed and is open to the idea of being fixed. There are times it can be done, and there are also circumstances when nothing can be done. It all depends on both parties' commitment to helping each other out.

-☮ No matter how hard the leader tries to save a situation, if it’s only from one side, it won’t work. It needs to be handled by both parties, no matter who’s at fault.

-☮ Try to amend things, solve the problems. Don't run away from a heated situation and avoid the problem instead face it and try to solve the problem together.

-☮ Listen, ask, talk about it. Instead of keeping on blaming each other, both parties need to talk through the problem. Why does such a problem occur? What is the cause? Is there any misunderstanding during the process? Problems occur all the way in our walk of life, talk about them, in a good manner. Don’t run away from it. Sit and discuss if you have to. Things won’t get better if you keep it to yourself and spread such negativity to other parties.

-☮ Admit mistakes and apologize. I am sorry and thank you is one of the hardest words that someone can say to another person. Of course, you don’t simply say it, you should say it when you mean it, with sincerity. If you really make mistakes, even the slightest mistakes, apologizing and talking through them is crucial in any relationship. There’s nothing to lose, in fact, you are doing a great deal for yourself and the person that you wronged.

-☮ Forgive and forget. If both parties apologize and try to make it better, forget the past and work for a better future. Chances can be given, but never take chances for granted. There’s a limit for everything. If you did your part and the other party is not being responsible and accountable, let it be, don’t sweat, move on. There are other important things to think and focus on, and other great people that are supportive and team player if a person is stubborn and is not willing to learn.

-☮ Keep an open mind to learn and keep learning. Don’t think highly of yourself. Never think that we are so smart. There’s always something to learn from someone. Don’t be bossy and nosy.

-☮ Keep your expectations low. Have room for error and keep in mind that things can happen not according to plan. Breathe in, breathe out, always have a plan B, and so on.

-☮ Don’t be too nice until people easily take advantage of you. Be nice, but be firm. Certain people could really appreciate your kindness, some people could really use it against you. Try not to trust people too soon, especially if someone used to do bad things to you. Always be careful. People can be very mean sometimes.

-☮ If I missed something, please share, I want to learn too. 

I have shared my 8 key learning points that I have learned when faced with difficult people in my walk of life. This is just knowledge sharing, for us to learn and grow together. If I ever offended anyone during my leadership and when I was/am a follower, I would like to apologize from the bottom of my heart. I always try my best to keep everyone as a great team, develop our potential, and hope to aspire you to realize your potential, talent, and passion. 

I realized that not everyone has the spirit, energy, and passion to learn, be positive, and stretched to their full potential. There will be people who can be flexible, agile, high-spirited and sporting when it comes to being a team player. Even if someone is quiet, it’s totally fine, they can be a great follower as long as they have an open mind, want to learn, and also share their knowledge and talent. These people when they realize their potential, they can be good leaders if they are groomed well. 

I have learned that nothing is perfect. There will always be hiccups along the way which in a way it’s good, it teaches you how to deal with difficulties, make you more mature and improve your skills and uphold your values while giving you valuable experiences that money can’t buy. Take it as a challenge in life that prepares you for more difficult ones but teaches you how to be patient, strong, and be a better person at work and in life. 

They will be friends that will leave you, there will be friends that will be closer to you. Appreciate those who are with you during the hard ones and understand a situation by not listening to rumors, but listening to you and trying to see it from a perspective that can help for betterment.  

Hopefully, all of us can learn something from this article and I would like to thank all my teammates and every leader that has taught and support me well for me to become a better leader from time to time. I will keep on learning to be better than yesterday for myself and for helping people that needed help and support. 

To my awesome and supportive teammates (you know who you are) from University time until now, I have learned a lot from you guys, and thanks for your great support, love, and trust in me. Let us become a better leader today, tomorrow, and in the future to come. I wish everyone that reads this article the best. We are a leader of ourselves, a follower of goodness, and a team for happiness. Let’s get together for a better US.

Thank you and I’m sorry.

Yours truly,
The Surviving Leader and Follower :)

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