What is a True Leader? Is it the impulsive young person who is always talking and running out ahead of everybody and the team unknowingly just follows to failure? Just the meat head jock who is the coolest? The girl who all the guys like, is good looking, smart and athletic? No, no and no.
A leader is one who has the courage to stand on their own convictions, to walk the road not walked by everyone else, to risk, as well as, to assist others who do not see the picture, to encourage, be willing to die for the cause that they seek. And in the end, when you find one of these leaders, follow them, they will take you home.
On the courage to walk out your convictions:
What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think. This rule, equally arduous in actual and in intellectual life, may serve for the whole distinction between greatness and meanness. It is the harder because you will always find those who think they know what is your duty better than you know it. It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
On following everyone else and the same path:
Now we are told the individual’s highest aspiration or vision must be service to the group. The whole matter of “the greatest life” is presumed to be settled. It’s no longer worth re-thinking. This, of course, is propaganda. In many ways, from many angles, it’s taught and implied in our schools. Children learn to parrot the appropriate phrases. They utter them proudly.
– Jon Rappaport