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  • Writer's pictureJonnette Del Mundo

Be A Leader Not A Follower

Most people in life are happy to follow other people's lead, sit on the fence in a debate, or have the attitude of hiding at the back of the class. However, the most successful people are leaders who make things happen by taking a positive attitude and working very hard to reach their goals. We can all become leaders; this article may help you achieve this.

I grew up as a very nervous person who had minimal self-confidence and who was very shy. I was unhappy this way and often felt jealous of others who were glad to speak up and take control of tasks and situations. I wanted to be one of these leaders, not the follower I had undoubtedly become.

In my early twenties, I decided that the time had arrived to make a series of life-changing decisions. I was determined to have a happy and successful life and knew I needed to change my attitude and approach to life.

I was unhappy at where I worked and joined an employment agency to find alternative employment. In the agency's reception area, I started speaking to a man hoping to find a different job. His name was Mark, and we got on well and wished each other the best of luck in our quest to find work. We even exchanged phone numbers and vowed to update each other on our progress.

I was then interviewed by a man who explained his plan to help me find this new work role. He was bright, clever, cheerful, and had many exciting ideas. Moreover, he seemed very confident that I would soon be employed by a different company more suited to my skills.

At one stage of the meeting, he described the group interview scenario. He suggested we may be ushered into a large room with a big table. As we sat down, a sheet of paper would ask the group to debate a particular subject. He stated that everyone in the room would be in the same position, looking for work and nervous. However, in that room, I could be whoever I wanted to be. He said that I needed to stand up and take the lead by stating that I would act as chairman and that if anyone had a comment they wanted to make, they could raise their hand. If I did this, I would show my prospective employer I was a leader.

I went home and thought about this and did not believe I had it in me to act as he wanted me to, as I was not a leader. Later that evening, Mark phoned, and all he was talking about was the group interview scenario. He also stated that there was no way he would be able to stand up in the way that had been described.

I never had to attend a group interview, but Mark did. He surprised himself by carrying out the advice and stated that after his initial statement about being the chairman, he had never felt so powerful and in control. For the rest of the day, other group members regularly asked him questions as if he was some team leader. He was very proud of himself, and I am happy to report that he was successful at that interview and is very happy in his new position.

He has also taken the success and learning experience into his social life and states that he has never had higher self-esteem. I am glad for him as he is a genuine person who works very hard. He is also one of only a few friends that I trust.

I have taken inspiration from Mark and have entered into a career of helping people who stutter to achieve fluency. This is something I really enjoy and gives me a lot of job satisfaction. I am also far more confident than I ever have been and have at last found happiness.

In conclusion, we all have it in us to be a leader. We must be brave and determined to take control and remember that all we can do in life is try our best. We are only sure about living one life, so let us be happy and not accept the second best. Be a leader in life, not a follower.


Check out Mike Acker's new book on Public Speaking: Speak with Confidence, published by WILEY.

A breakthrough to develop confidence in speaking, leadership, and life. A follow-up book to his best-selling book, Speak with No Fear.

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