Be a Leader Not a Follower: The Secret to Everything


Posted by Jill Whalen | Posted in Business, Things I've Learned, Thought | Posted on 11-05-2015

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[Jill’s Note: If you prefer to listen rather than read, please scroll to the bottom of this post for the audio version.]

Be The LeaderHave you looked at leaders in your space or community, and wondered how they got there?

There could be millions of different ways, but I am 100% certain that it wasn’t by being a follower.

It seems that in our world, there are followers and there are leaders. While there can be some cross-over, for the most part we are one or the other.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

To me, leaders are the ones who come up with most of the creative ideas and solutions and aren’t afraid to let others know about them. Sure they have fears, but they don’t let them stop them from taking action.

Followers may also come up with creative solutions, but they get caught up in their thoughts about it not being good enough, and often end up keeping it to themselves. Instead, they play it safe and copy what others (the leaders) are doing, and assume it will work out for them as well.

Yet it rarely does.

Why would it? When someone is successful, it’s because they did what was right for them at the time that they did it. It’s likely they tested tons of things before hitting on their own special recipe for success. Copying them (if that’s even possible) is not likely to have the right ingredients for what you need. While it may be helpful to learn from and observe what successful people are doing, it should always be as a way to generate your own creative ideas for what might work for you at this particular moment in time.

A lot of it has to do with Understanding.

Followers rarely understand at a deep level what it is that they’re copying and why the other did what they did. They only see what’s on the surface and the end result. But that’s only half (if that) of the story. Knowing something intellectually is not the same as true Knowing. Without a deep understanding of why others are doing what they’re doing to be successful, copying it will never work.

Everyone has the potential to be a leader.

Here’s how:

Rather than spending most of your time looking at, worrying about and obsessing over what others are doing, take some time out. Forget about anyone but yourself and what you ultimately would like to accomplish. Imagine what that might look like somewhere down the road. When ego thoughts creep in telling you that you have no idea how to get to that place or that you’d never be good enough, smart enough or have enough money to be in that place, thank it for its commentary, but pretend it’s your mother (cuz it kinda is) and ignore it just the same. 🙂 (Sorry Mom.)

Get creative!

Within that quiet space all you have to do everyday (or every moment) is see what comes up from that creative place deep inside of you. Don’t worry about time frames, what ifs, shoulds or even how you’re doing. Just know what you want to do and where you want to be and move towards it bit by bit, guided by your own creative wisdom–regardless of what others are doing. Any time you get stuck simply trust that you can “leap and a net will appear.” (Because you can and it will!)

Before you know it, whether it’s years, months or days–you’ll be amazed to find that you are now some version of that person you wanted to be, doing the stuff you wanted to do, living in that place you wanted to live. Best of all, it will be exactly right for you because you blazed your own trail to get there.

Whatever you do and however you do it, the most important thing to remember is that it’s a journey. And as long as you’re having fun along the way, you’re on the right track!


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CONTACT JILL WHALEN to learn how she may help you be the best you can be.

Jill is the author of Victim of Thought: Seeing Through the Illusion of Anxiety

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For the past 20 years, Jill has consulted with companies big and small, and spoken at conferences all over the world. She is currently a transformational speaker and mentor to businesses, individuals, coaches, leaders, groups and organizations. She helps them uncover their natural well-being and happiness so that they can operate from a clearer state of mind and take their lives and businesses to a higher level.

Jill's blog, What Did You Do With Jill? is a personal account of what she's learned throughout her transformational journey. Jill has many "viral" articles on LinkedIn and is a contributing writer for P.S. I Love You.

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Wonderful, wonderful article, Jill… thanks for writing it.

I especially loved the following:

“When ego thoughts creep in telling you that you have no idea how to get to that place or that you’d never be good enough, smart enough or have enough money to be in that place, thank it for its commentary, but pretend it’s your mother (cuz it kinda is) and ignore it just the same. 🙂 (Sorry Mom.)”

That little negative voice inside our heads is amazingly powerful and is so good at keeping us right where we are.

I’m about a month into blazing my own trail, starting something I’ve been dreaming about doing for at least 5 years.

It’s slow-going with a long way to go, but I am now “some version of that person I wanted to be” for so long, and it’s a great feeling.

With Gratitude,

You’re welcome. Glad you liked it!