Exploring vs. Leading

  • Category: Authority Mindset

I was listening to this interview with Derek Sivers when they touched briefly on the difference between exploring and leading:

“It means I’m not a leader because a leader, by definition, has to be easy to follow. A good leader of a project would say, “We’re doing this. This is our project. This is our outcome. Let’s get to work.”

Whereas an explorer is somebody who goes off into the darkest jungles of Peru and has no idea which way they’re going, they’re doing it to explore.

I’m exploring. I don’t expect anybody to follow me. I’m not being a leader. I’m off exploring different options over here.”

In the context of authority, we’re often called upon to do both: to be the first one on the path, hacking at the underbrush, while looking up and figuring out how to lead those who will want to join us.

Authority building: one hand on the machete with the other shading our eyes to see the horizon ahead.

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