Don’t Lead Like My Daughter

My youngest is in preschool. We were heading to the car after school and she ran ahead. We needed to make several turns to weave our way to the car, and at every junction she would slow down, and look back to make sure she was turning the right way. Once she knew the direction the rest of us were going she would speed off again, happy to lead us onward.

She was leading by consensus. She had no idea which way to go, and was not actually making the decision, but was waiting on the crowd to clue her in one where we were going, whether she was ahead or not. It really didn’t matter if she had slowed down and dropped behind us. We would still have gotten to the car. She wasn’t really leading, she just looked like she was.

If she had been actually leading, and come to a place she was unsure of the direction, she could have come to the crowd for advice. I’m sure we would have told her what direction we thought we should go. But in the decision would still have been hers. If we were really following her, she could have taken us another route to reach the same goal. And if we were really following her, we would trust her to get us there.

Of course, we don’t trust a three year old to lead us to the car. But do the people you are leading trust you? Are you actually leading or just running ahead to look like you’re leading?