OPINION: Being a follower isn’t such a bad thing

In a beehive, there are many types of bees, such as the queen bee, who can be considered the leader, and the worker bees, who have different duties like building or guarding the hive.

Now one might think the queen bee is the most important position because she is the one responsible for reproducing. On the contrary, the worker bees have an equally important job of protecting the hive and collecting nectar for the rest of the population of bees.

Similarly, in school situations such as group projects and quizzes, one does not necessarily have to be the leader to have the most importance in the group. In actuality, the workers also supplement a lot of the work.

To clear up misconceptions, followers are not just blind lackeys of someone who they feel is superior to them. Rather, they have their own choices to make, and the relationship with their leader is a cycle. Without followers, there can be no leader. Inversely, without a boss, the followers may be misguided in their efforts.

There are several traits ideal followers have that make them as valuable as the leader. First off, followers are efficient, and they get the work done on time. The leader has a responsibility to create work, so the followers should finish it.

Followers also possess faithfulness. This does not mean they are sidekicks of their leader, but rather, the followers are devoted to whatever cause they are working for, and the whole group (followers and leader) work together as a single unit, with the same goal in mind, in order to deliver a good project.

Now one might think, “All my life, my parents have told me to be a leader and not a follower.  If followers are so great, why are there only stories of great leaders?”

It is true that there are many inspirational stories of great leaders. One must consider, however, where the leaders would be if they did not have other people  standing beside them. Jobs and Wozniak, Gates and Allen, and Page and Brin are all examples of this situation. Steve Jobs, Bill Gates , and Larry Page all played crucial parts to the success of Apple, Microsoft, and Google respectively, but they are more famous than their respective counterparts due to the fact that they were the CEOs of their companies. In all actuality,  they might have not even been able  create their companies had they not had Steve Wozniak, Paul Allen, and Sergey Brin by their side.

The followers truly are an important asset of the workforce. In a beehive without worker bees, the colony would go extinct. In a huge company without workers, the company would not be able to release products and would go out of business. Ultimately, while the leader is definitely an important position, followers are what keep the the Earth spinning on its axis.