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What to do when no one follows you

Updated: May 28, 2023

I was at the park with my daughter. The playground was packed! A little boy screamed out, “who wants to play cops and robbers?”

Only his buddy raised his hand. Uh oh.

For adults, this is a terrible afront to our attempts to lead. Our responses to this afront are usually wrong:

  • begging - "Come on everyone, please!!!!"

  • bullying - "What is wrong with you all? You are bad if you don’t do this."

  • bailing - "What is wrong with me. I am not a good leader."

What did this kid do?

He said, “Ok.”

That is what you should do too. You aren't perfect and your leadership won’t be either. You will have moments like that.

Having said that, here is also a tip to reduce those moments. Before making a BIG leadership move, get some perspective from others. He could have negotiated away from that moment by securing a few key folks onboard with the plan. Then if no one else jumped on, they still could have move forward with the small group that he was already leading. And he would have known ahead of time if the general answer was no.

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