Sunday, December 18, 2005

Leaders need followers and followers need leaders

I'm in between when it comes to being a leader vs. being a follower. I prefer to follow and I play that role
very well until something goes awry or nothing gets done - then I get sucked into the vacuum of
"nothing-getting-done-ness" and take over until I resent the position and get mad
at everyone else in the group/team/meeting/etc and force someone else to take
over by spitting flames out of my nostrils.

Kevin is a follower of grand proportions. That's not entirely true as he is happy to boss Andy and me
around 24 hours a day but when it comes to anybody else, he's a shadow.

The other day we went to a friend's house (the sledding friend from a previous post) and both boys
(Kevin and T) waited for someone else to start the playing. T's mom and I helped start things up and then
we watched for them to take over. Didn't happen. Kevin and T waited for someone else to keep up the playing
as well! That surely didn't make for a relaxing playdate for me, let me tell you.

We went to lunch at a McDonald's with an indoor playground and although Kevin is now super-happy to climb
to the top and slide down the big, twisty slide 20 times in a row, he wouldn't do it because T
wouldn't do it. They'd get halfway up and T would start back down the steps and Kevin would follow. I
tried to get Kevin to lead T to the small slide to get him acclimated but at the slightest hint of retreat
by T, Kevin would retreat in kind.

There's only so much energy that can be burned up taking one step up on the toddler slide and leaning over
it to reach the floor on the other side. It wasn't until T's mom and I said, "Three more turns and then
we're leaving" that Kevin, without even looking at anybody, took off to the steps and made his
way up to the big slide for his 3 turns.

Next time I'll say when we get there, "Twenty more turns and then we're leaving!"

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