Thursday, January 12, 2012

People's Choice Awards 2012: Followers, Choose Your Leader!

anyone else think this looks like Cruella DeVille's younger sister?

The people have spoken!  Long live Katy Perry!  Never mind the divorce, the cancelled tour dates, the mindless hypnotic songs (yes, I find them catchy too- junk food for the brain).  So why is this all on a leadership blog?

As the 2012 People's Choice Awards reminds us, the people choose their own idols, role models, and leaders.  We, individually and collectively, look at the offerings (the endless stream of new faces thrown at the media wall every year), and vote with our dollars, our pageviews and clicks, and sometimes even simply with our votes (I'm looking at you, American Idol).

We ask ourselves of each of the candidates for our attention: do they look like a star to me?  do they sound like one?  do they act like one?  what do my friends think?  are they not popular enough (the band Gotye) yet?  are they too popular and therefore not cool to associate with (Bieber)?  We ask these questions, and we answer in our minds and determine if there are enough "yes's" for us to accept them as a role model, an idol, a star.

This same process happens every day, from the 14-debate riddled Republican primary to the little work group you were put into at school or at work.  At every level we choose our leaders.  Are they enough like us?  Are they better in the important areas (singing, leading a country, getting the project done by the deadline)?  Do we like them?  Are we willing to give our power over to them?  Because make no mistake, that is exactly what we do.  Attention, money, time, energy-- these are all forms of power we voluntarily give up to those we elevate above us.

Just a friendly reminder that to become a leader, it matters not only what's inside, but the perception of others as well.  You can't be a leader all by yourself.  And if you never want to lead, remember that you have a very strong voice in choosing who you are led my.  Exercise it!