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The last couple decades have brought about a uniquely sharp shift in philosophy, especially in the United States (but occurring elsewhere). This is often more or less apparent based on; one’s level of exposure to history, and age. These two things often allow greater contrast and comprehension of trajectory because they offer more points of reference.

I wouldn’t dare to say we’re experiencing the worst of times in America, nor in large parts of the world. And we’re certainly not experiencing anything new either (many societies, including our own, have gone through similar shifts before).

However, one of the most influential qualities of this current shift in zeitgeist, is the general drop in desire for leadership. This manifests itself in many, many areas and circumstances. A particularly poignant side effect, is the amount of people looking to join things, rather than found or lead them.

A frequent and clear example is the amount of people who are looking for a job, or want to join a company. But how few people will lead and go through the extra effort to build one. This eventually leads to a high supply of followers, and not many leaders. Which is something I’m sure you’ve likely experienced if you operate your own business.

Another good example of this in action can even be found in many multiplayer games, where an extremely large amount of people are often looking to join groups of other players, but aren’t willing to found or lead their own.

Interestingly enough, there are frequently benefits of leading a group in a video game. These benefits even at their most basic levels often outweigh the increased effort required to host a group! Most people spend so much time looking for a group, that simply by harnessing the existing supply of ready players, they can form their own group at a huge time savings to themselves and others.

This principle of leading vs following definitely isn’t to say that leadership should only be pursued for personal gain. But the resistance to leading is often harmful not just to others, but also to ourselves.

Conclusion: Learn and apply leadership, it’s crucial for both personal growth, and the growth of others!