Personal Trainer Boston Area

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Chris' Blog

Why We Follow Our Leaders: Trust, Symbols, and Purpose

Posted on November 13, 2016 at 1:45 PM

Leaders are such because they are the ones who venture into the unknown. They go first and take the risk, leading those who choose to follow into unknown territory. What is it that followers see in leaders which allows them to put their faith in another individual? People it turns out have an innate tendency to form communities. Stretching back as far as the dawn of the cognitive revolution roughly 70,000 years ago people started imagining reality which allow them to form small bands. These bands were held together by values and beliefs deemed significant by a leader. Everyone who believed in the bands beliefs and values were welcomed into the group.


Grouping together allowed trust and cooperation amongst people which enabled growth as a community. Since people were not wasting time in conflicts with each other it allowed them to grow. It is the safety in numbers from other groups that appealed to these people. They felt trust in their leaders to protect them from danger.


It is this trust in leaders that gives them their power. Authentic leaders today like the ancestors of our past painted a picture of why people should join their band and participate in their cause. People see when leaders put the interest of their people before themselves. they trust their leaders to take care of them first. Evolution has made community building a fundamental human goal. We understand every individual in a group has certain strengths and weaknesses and by banding together it amplifies those individuals strengths. Similar to how members of a musical band don’t disregard or block-out each other with their musical instruments but blend together to create something more inspiring, human nature calls for us to work together in teams blending our skills, knowledge, and talents towards something greater.


Society sometimes stirs a desire to please everyone, but when we do this we are attempting to please people rather than be our authentic selves. It is our authentic self which draws people to us. Although you will make enemies by standing up for your beliefs, your followers will have more trust in you for fully committing to your cause. When we believe in something and stand behind it, people follow us. It’s when we claim to care about something but do not take action towards it that people see through our inauthenticity and stop following us. It’s a basic principle of looking out for our fellow band member. If I cannot trust you to stand behind your beliefs, how am I supposed to stand behind you when it comes to leading me into the unknown?


Stand strong, dead reckon, and blaze the trail. If you follow your beliefs and values genuinely looking out for those who share your cause, you will brand yourself as a leader in your endeavor. It is then that you become a symbol for your cause. People create lifestyles out of brands such as Jeep, Crossfit, and Apple and sacrifice their life for brands such as liberty justice. What they all share is a trust in a belief that the symbol will grant them purpose. Leaders are those who place trust through authenticity in those symbols and carve they way for others to follow.

Stay active, 

Chris Johnson 

Categories: Coaching Theory

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