Following the leader does not always lead us to the right place  

Estimated read time: 2 minutes

It’s construction season in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where I live. On my commute to the office there’s so much construction on one of the main roads into town that on one day they were flaggers to make sure cars would get to the correct lanes, which were marked by cones and quite weavy.

Traffic was flowing pretty smoothly, but then I noticed that maybe 8 to 10 cars in front of me were taking a right turn off that main road, onto a side street.

I almost followed, because I thought at first that that’s where the flagger was pointing. But I slowed down, assessed the situation a little further and realized that the flagger was actually pointing straight ahead. So that got me to wonder if people were actually just following the leader (aka the first car that turned – either by mistake or on purpose). Somebody had turned right and everybody else thought that was the way to go because of construction.

Once I got to the other side of the road there was very little traffic in front of me, another sign that my thought of why they all turned likely was true. All the cars behind me continued across the road and were now following me. Maybe I was now the leader. Ha ha. I hope they all meant to go that way. LOL.

It was just a good reminder to slow down and evaluate where our forward movement is actually taking us. Don’t just follow the flow because that’s the flow. Follow the flow with intent and purpose and toward  a goal – which in this case was getting to the office, where that sidestreet was not going to take me.

It’s quite OK to trust our longtime leaders whom we have established a relationship with. But still it’s always good to slow down, think and look and then keep moving forward.