Mastering High School: Leadership


Not everyone is made to be or desires to be a high school leader.

Everyone who knows me will say that I am not a leader. I like being a follower, and I think that there is nothing wrong with following. However, other people seem to think that being a leader is better for some reason. I can’t help but to wonder what exactly is a leader, and why is being a leader better than being a follower?

I stereotypically think of a leader as someone who bosses others around to do their work for them, and I dislike these type of people. I know that bosses, political figures, and people who lead organizations are leaders, but who is a leader in school and among peers? Thankfully, I found a really good definition of a leader:

A leader has a vision, or goal they want to achieve. Then, they motivate other people with inspiration and/or empathy. Leaders set goals for their followers, but they also listen to them. Followers want recognition and attention, so leaders have to serve followers with these things. They also accept creativity from others and encourage it. Leaders manage, guide, and lead their team, while also letting the team take the initiative and take the lead. Good leaders have team building on their team. They take risks and create opportunities. Leaders are always improving the team, and most importantly they do not blame the team when somethings goes wrong.

I really like this description because there are good leaders and bad leaders. A bad leader is self-centered and places themselves above their team. However, a good leader listens to their team, serves their team, and lets their team take the lead here and there. You have to prove yourself to your team that you can lead them. Your team doesn’t have to prove to you that they can follow you. Even though I stereotypically thought of leaders as bad, I think that there can be good leaders, and they should be respected.

All throughout school, students are being taught that they should lead and not follow. However, there are more followers than leaders, and this is marvelous because if everyone was a leader we would always get into arguments with each other and never get anything done. There are different people in life, and that doesn’t mean that one is better than the other. Some days we will lead, and other days we will follow. We have a right to lead ourselves to our own vision, and we have a duty to follow others.

I feel like it’s common sense. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. For example, If you played a sport for years and know everything that happens, then maybe you should try to be the captain. However, if it’s your first year and you are less experienced, then following other people is smart. A follower can be a leader on some days, and the leader can follow others sometimes. Therefore, we are truly both leaders and followers.

Why do people believe that being a leader is better than being a follower? I don’t know. The school district seems to push for leaders, when they should be thankful that there are more followers. I believe they are pushing for leaders because those people have a goal or vision they want to achieve, and they want to push students to follow their dreams, not someone else’s dreams. However, people like me do not really have a goal or vision at this time. I have no desire to lead a team to achieve something, but I will support others in following their dreams.

Personally, I believe that we need to be both. We need to lead people in following our own vision, but we must also follow others and listen to them. We need to avoid being self-centered, and we need to follow others and keep an open ear for what they have to say. Leaders and followers are both equally important, so we should all try to do both. All of us should realize that a leader is no better than a follower.