Blog entry by Alan Chapman
Questioning Compliance and Leading Followers
My extraordinary female role-model friend of over 40 years, who's lived many of life's traumas, disintegrations, and rebirths, to become a selfless polymath and loving changemaker, sent me this today.
It is a true story lesson in leadership, that anyone can be a leader:
"This morning I went to the supermarket to get some croissants...
There is a big sign outside that says, 'Please Wait For a Customer To Leave Before You Enter.'
There is a small queue around the side of the building. So, I join it.
Five minutes pass. No one comes out the shop.
After another couple of minutes a man comes out and the girl at the front of the queue goes in. More people join the queue behind me.
A minute or so passes and the girl that just went in comes out with a loaf of bread.
The next person in the queue goes in. But no one new comes out, just more people join the queue.
I begin to wonder if there are actually any people in the shop... so I peer through the window...
I can see one little old lady, a cleaner, a member of staff stacking shelves and the person who just went in.
Really? Yes, there are THREE people in the shop and 26 people queuing outside... "
And this initiative enables everyone to fix the problem.
Human nature has always been that most people follow and do not question.
Leaders who question assumptions and situations that seem nonsensical take creative risks, and this tends to require bravery, especially if a big majority of people are unquestioningly compliant.
We are all born with bravery and creativity, but life and human systems persuade us that we should comply unquestioningly, and only follow, even when things seem crazy, which is generally a road to nonsense, and ultimately conflict and self-destruction. There is another way, to a positive new future.
We need more emerging leaders to rediscover their natural born bravery and creativity, to question and to lead others, please.
People will follow you, support you and look after you.
You will inspire others to be brave and to lead, to question, and to take risks.
Your example will cascade and become part of our emerging future better human world.
For additional learning/teaching/understanding, you could start with some other stories:
Also look at the incredibly powerful world-leading work of Graham Williams, another profoundly brilliant person, whose specialisms include storytelling, ancient wisdoms and organisational/systemic transformations.