A leader without followers thinks, breathes and acts in harmony with his environment.

People are a part of that environment.

And instead of being seen dismissively as “followers”, others become vital components. Teammates. Players. Helpers. Beneficiaries of our words, actions and deeds. The very reason behind what we do!

Their simple smiles fire the sparks of 10,000 suns within our hearts — and, quietly, we say to ourselves, “Yes… let’s do that once more.”

Followers are not the lifeblood of a leader. Goodness is. Positivity is. Love is.

Giving to and caring for and helping people… this is the mission, the end-goal and the very sustenance of a leader without followers.

Because a leader without followers is in harmony with her environment, she understands the environment to give her signs and indications of what she should embrace (and keep doing), and what should be forgotten (or halted).

  • A website, small business plan or book idea seems to be clamored for by everyone she encounters, time and time again. A leader without followers understands that this is not a sign of her “greatness” but that the idea’s time has come — and must be given to the world.
  • An envisioned project or long-dreamed start-up that has been met by hurdle after hurdle, conflict and disaster, is understood — with humbling brilliance — to be delayed, postponed or cancelled outright.

Quitting is tough. Your ego will feel ashamed, embarrassed, hurt — others will feel sad for you, maybe mock you behind your back, or even criticize you to your face. This is not a bad thing! Let them.

And like water over the otter, the emptiness of the negativity that others impress upon you finds no friction, and simply washes away.

It’s not personal. They just do not understand. And that’s perfectly fine.

When you’re in alignment with the truth you feel within yourself, the voices of critics and naysayers matter little. To a leader without followers, making the difficult choice to take one concerted and mature step backwards, in fact, will let you travel further than ignorantly pressing forward with ten giant leaps in the wrong direction.

PS – I’m about to announce that I’m officially taking speaking gigs for 2012! You can check out, share (please do!) and download my new speaker’s kit here.

PPS – I’ve got some fun “yearly review” blog posts coming up to recap my year and much more :) Stay tuned, and Happy Holidays!

Flickr photo credit: Emilia Tjernström