image compliments of Pixabay.

“And the WINNER IS…….”

How many times do you just KNOW who the winner is going to be? You feel it. You know it’s going to be one of the most outspoken, perhaps the most demanding and always the one who walks the walk and talks the talk- regardless of skill level.

We’re coming to the end of winter sports seasons here and as parents, are required to sit through presentations.

My friend just had to go to her son’s soccer presentation morning. After chatting, we realised her son (nor mine) will probably never be up there getting a gold or silver piece of plastic to celebrate their greatness! In fact, we PROBABLY don’t even need to go to our sons’ presentations from here on in! We will have to think of something else to do with that chunk of hours……

It’s not that our sons aren’t good soccer players. They’re frickin’ fantastic. They’re reliable, dedicated, skillful, include everyone and are completely integral cogs in a fantastic machine that is the team.

So what sets them apart? They’re QUIET.

My son is a quiet, deep thinking introvert. He studies the play, forsees outcomes and sets up play accordingly. I may not know how to play soccer, but I know his character! He is kind to everyone on the team, respectful and exudes a passion for the game like nothing else in his life.

He doesn’t care if he gets awards or leadership roles. He really doesn’t. And neither do I to be honest. I have chatted with him about the fact it will probably always be the same people getting glorified pieces of plastic or certificates or badges, and a round of applause because, well- that’s life! It also doesn’t mean he is not as good as others. He started the eye roll with me, so I left the conversation there. I think he heard me though.

You probably think I’m throwing sour grapes around and whinging. I assure you I’m not.

I’m just wondering why?

Sports, professional and social worlds epitomize leadership. We glorify those ‘in charge’, those who’ve ‘made it’ and we presume they are at the top of their game- above all others.

Team captains, Oscar Winners, Prime Ministers (debatable), You Tubers with the most followers, Presidents (TOTALLY debatable), student representatives, CEOs, business leaders, millionaires ….

True- MANY of these leaders really are rocking their world, ARE deserved and have worked their asses off to get there. This is great. Good on them and we are lucky to have them.

But to ‘get to the top’ you must first be a follower. While we’re on it, where is the elusive top anyway? Is there a view? A members only bar? I’m sure I will never know! If anyone knows, can you sneak me in one day?

Leaders are not superior and followers are not inferior. I want my children to know this whole heartedly. You can be a kind follower and you can be an asshole leader, and vice versa.

We are failing to value the skills of being a follower and in my opinion I think this is something we need to address. I also have no idea how or what to change or offer in doing so. Certainly NOT participation certificates !

Followership is an unbreakable connection within a team or group. Great followers can value others’ opinions, bring useful advice and skill , view team members as equals and get the job done efficiently and effectively. They are cogs without which the team would not run and the leader couldn’t lead.

We should celebrate the quiet achievers.

Any ideas how??

E x


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