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Why Follow?

The view above is at the top of a walk I did last week with my Dad and sister. We've been very fortunate to have had in our Local Government Area both coastline and escarpment during these lockdown months. As we navigated our way up varying degrees of tracks (very visible to low visibility entry, heading along and exit points), we relied a lot on Dad for guiding as he is most familiar with this area after a lifetime of exploring it. One question kept rattling around in my head along the way though (especially in the more challenging sections), why follow?

"Leaders don't force people to follow. They invite them on a journey."

- Charles S. Lauer

My first musing was about how I had chosen to take on this challenge, I had agency, there was no coercion. I have such positive connections to bushwalking built over so many years as a child. they were adventures that I wanted to be on, rather than experiences I had to endure. This consistency of how both Mum and Dad engaged us in the process of planning for, going on and celebrating these adventures sees us still telling stories today about the full spectrum of easy/pleasant to hard/painful moments and experiences we shared with a smile.

"A good leader needs to know how to follow."

- Casey Affleck

A lot of my other musings related to the way my Dad leads. I used the word guiding in the first paragraph, he definitely isn't seeking to control. He's honest about where, why and how he may be wrong, but confident in his risk analysis' as to options available to us as we go. He's also always encouraging and creating space for others to lead, having awareness when to purposefully position himself at the front, middle or back. His energy, enthusiam and genuine love of an adventure is infectious, inspiring others to keep going when challenges need to be met. It's never about him or what he's done, he makes it about us and what we're lucky enough to be able to do and share.

"Become the kind of leaderthat people would follow voluntarily; even if you had no title or position."

-Bryan Tracy

So I wonder who and why do you follow? What is it about the way an individual or group is leading, rather than trying to be the leader, that inspires you to confidently show up, contribute and enjoy the ripples created by their/your thoughts, words and actions? How do you chose to lead with and around those you're privileged to be adventuring with? And what difference does this all make?


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