Sunday, September 20, 2009

Why Samoan Survivors Follow thier Leaders

Last night I watched the first episode of Survivor Samoa. The participants broke into two tribes and their first task was to pick a leader for each tribe. They elected leaders with a simple ballot, with the highest vote-getter becoming the tribe leader. At this point in the game, they only had visual first impressions to go on. Up to that point, they were not allowed to talk to each other.

I found it interesting that throughout the rest of the episode, each tribe was happy to take direction from their simply-picked leader. The leader had done nothing to deserve the role, but yet the tribe followed them.

So, what can we learn from this. It would be simple to dismiss this willingness to follow as a tactic for staying under the radar in the game. That probably is part of the dynamic. In my experience, I see people relieved not to have to take on the leadership role. Most people are happy to follow anyone who is willing to take the role, so long as they don't abuse the role.

One good example is when a bunch of friends are planning to go out to dinner together. One person says, "Where should we go," and there is silence. What is that silence? It is a pause while everyone avoids the risk of being the leader in that decision. I know that whatever the first person suggests, someone in the group will shoot down. But, most people would rather just follow the leader's choice. After all, the restaurant is not the important part; going out together is.

I think the Samoan Survivors were willing to follow their leaders because someone was willing to be the leader. You might assume that your teams are willing to follow you until you deserve that they shouldn't. Don't be afraid to take the lead. People will appreciate your willingness, even if they don't say so.


karim said...

A valuable post on leadership

Karim - Mind Power

Ken Flowers said...

Thanks for reading, Karim. Visit again.

Chandigarh said...

Yes karim, it is..