Being a leader

I was leading a few people on a new hike trail yesterday, and I realized i was a leader. It was not my intention, but i had become one.
I had gone on the trail a few times, and I was only roughly familiar with the route. But i was the only one familiar with the route. I have supervised a hike for a leadership camp before, but we had a guide to follow. And the route was fairly clear.

I realized this group was relying on me to get them through this. I was the one who can confidently traverse the terrain, I was the one fit to lead. There might have been in the group that were fitter, but they couldn’t lead as they didn’t know the route. There were markers on the route, I just needed to keep an eye on them. I had to ensure the group was together, so I had to slow myself and the fast ones down. I noticed the slow ones technique was tiring or inefficient,  so I went back and gave pointers. I only wished I had bought extra drinks so they could have a sip as theirs were finished.

I realized leading people in a hike is no different than leading people in general.
Either you have to know the way or have someone who does.
The leader needs to inform the followers what to expect, or what they are getting into so that they can make their own preparations.
The leader needs to be aware of the surrounding to make decisions as necessary.
The leader needs to be aware of the followers, and make decisions based on the collective interest.
The leader needs to assess the strength and weaknesses of the followers to adjust to their capabilities.
If possible the leader needs to advise the followers of what they can do for themselves.

A leader by its simplest definition is to lead others. We are all leaders at some point in our lives. Great leaders lead to change the world for the better.


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