Have you seen the YouTube of solo jumping dancing guy who eventually inspires the entire crowd? One person begins to follow him, transforming him from lonely outlier to focal center. Leadership is esteemed; followership, though undervalued, can shift reality. Seems to me that the art of following deserves some attention as a skill for the changing landscape of life in this time.
Sitting here at Julie’s Tea in Alameda CA over an elegant Sunday breakfast tray, I’m designing the workshops I’ll lead in the UK over the next two weekends. Follow, Lead and In-Between: I mull over the options for content and structure How will we learn to follow each other? How will I describe what I know so well – the mysterious connective tissue that seems to grow between us when we wholeheartedly follow each other?
As I sip this cup of black lavender tea, I recall a moment in my own learning about following. As a woman born into no money or influence, I worked hard to be seen, heard and recognized as a leader with a credible voice. Sitting in a women’s group, a wise member told me to “step back into the circle.” I learned to listen and follow what arose from those gathered, and to recognize when what I had to offer lent clarity, strength or creativity.
Sometime today, I encourage you to take a breath and relax into following some pattern you notice. The pace of someone walking in front of you. A child’s zigzagging run or playful storytelling. Your friend’s ideas about what you could do together. Lean into following, and see what happens.