The Follower

When one perceives a leader we tend to perceive in that leader all the traits that we ourselves desire to possess. As a consequence we interpret all actions and decisions of the leader from such a perspective laden with all such traits and ignore all other traits and in effect eventually we become blind to all faults and fallacies and see only the reflection of the leader we want to be in the person we follow.

This gives us the strength of conviction to follow and implement and be loyal and committed to all causes of the leader. Thus we choose a leader and then follow the shadow of our own selves as leader in the image of the one we have chosen.

Eventually, after considerable time, when the veil falls, we find ourselves looking at a leader who is nothing like what we started following. The disagreement turns to discontent, discontent to discord, discord to hatred and hatred to a destructive force. Depending on when we call it quits, the paths separate on amicable or disagreeable terms.

Till the very end, we may never figure out that we were always looking into a mirror.

As a follower or part of a council or management, we have the right and the power to say what we think to be right and do our best to shape the actions and policies of a leader. Thus, the eventual disillusionment with a leader is also a reflection in great measure of how we conducted ourselves and a true test of our convictions. 

When a leader fails in the eyes of a follower, the leader’s own fallibility apart, it is the failure of the follower that must be scrutinised by the follower. The Leader is as much an instrument of the Follower, as the Follower is of the Leader.

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