“What’s the difference Dave?”
Funny you should ask. Because I had the same question… in my head… after I wrote my last article.
So… are you a follower or a worker?
This is the first impasse I can see as we make our way into the mountains. When you set out on a new journey, or continue on in one you have already started, you will come to these impasses… ours is a mental journey of discovery… this first impasse for me is one of trying to clearly see, or define the first obstacle of, “What is the difference, or is there a difference between a follower and a worker?”
I took a step back from the base of this first obstacle and tried to determine what I was looking at.
It’s getting late. You look for a place to start a fire, I’ll go poke around the edges a little.
Here is my methodology for thinking through these obstacles, this one in particular…
- I pray and I read this bible passage “Seek ye first the kingdom of God…” ~Matthew 6:33 and I get quiet.
- This time He led me to “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me;” ~Matthew 11:29-30
- I rolled that one around for a few days.
- Then I did like I always do… start with an etymology of the word “follow” from Online Etymology Dictionary – “follow” from Old English ‘folgian’ meaning “to accompany (especially as a disciple); to move in the same direction as; pursue; move behind in the same direction”
- I reviewed ‘disciple’ as well… “one who follows another for the purpose of learning”
- I then ended up at this impasse/question in my head, “What is the difference between a worker and a follower?”
- I then set out to see what I could find on that specific question, and the way God works… he led me to a very specific person, with a very specific website and a very specific article.
But first I would like to explain how I felt throughout my work career.
First and foremost I never felt like a follower. I always felt like a collaborator. If you were the boss and hired me to do a job… alright, now get out of my way. This is my job now. I always owned my job tasks and responsibilities. It allowed me to develop a confident attitude in whatever it was I was doing… this is a critical point… the confidence I had allowed me to go toe to toe with people in charge of me… they never talked down to me… and if they did I would shut the door and tell them plainly, in no uncertain terms… that they are not allowed to talk to me like that… I only had to do that a few times.
Nope never been fired. If that’s what you’re thinking. I’m a good worker. I never worried about getting fired. I believed if I ever was… I would just go get another job.
I can honestly say I never followed any of my previous, or current supervisors. I worked for them. I worked with them. I just always considered myself an equal… I got my job and responsibilities, and you got yours. I always supported them and did my work as if it was my own, and supported the company through my work whether that was in plastics, plants, or people.
Thinking this through about myself I then had to tell myself, “I don’t think you know what being a follower really is then.”
I’ve mentioned it before that I treat the internet like my own Yukon Territories, so I went panning for some gold!
The Lord was good to me. I typed in the specific question, “Are you a follower or a worker?” And he led me to a huge nugget!
Creative Followership, developed by retired president of Chick-fil-A, Mr. Jimmy Collins. He had posted a specific article, with that specific title on his very specific website… which all pertains specifically to what I’ve been writing about. Pretty cool.
He has a book that I will be ordering, “Creative Followership: In the Shadow of Greatness”, I’ll let you know what I think of it… unless you beat me to it.
He has some insights to his philosophy on his LinkedIn acct. that speak directly to me.
“In my book… I describe my search for a formula to become a leader and why I reached the conclusion that leadership cannot be taught. I point out that only those with followers are leaders, and that followers choose a leader with a unifying purpose they can share.”
“My search for a leadership formula was not in vain; it led to a better path to an effective executive role. Learning the Creative Followership Principles and how to practice them proved to be a better route than the over-emphasized pursuit of leadership roles.”
So here we are. I think I found a way through this first impasse. But it’s late. We’ll have to camp here for the night. I found a small stream with some trout, got a couple for supper. Bust out the beans and start that fire.