It’s Great to be a Follower…of the Right People
We have grown up hearing from our parents, teachers and mentors, “don’t be a follower, create your own path, make your own rules,” and endless other cliché, “quotes-to-live-by.” Have we ever stopped to think about how much we idolize those who have gone before us and absolutely conquered? Of course we have! These are the men and women we utterly glorify, seek advice from and drool to be in the presence of. Need I even mention the fact that, Twitter, has created their company identity from essentially rectifying “the follower?” If not for our mere attempt to step in the footprints of these giants, we wouldn’t be the motivated people we are today.
Take, Steve Jobs, for example, not enough can be said about this a power-house of a leader, innovator to the max and mastermind of technology. His inspiration? Edwin H. Land, inventor of instant photography and guru behind the brand, Polaroid. Both managed to build multi-billion dollar corporations, both were full-bodied believers of autodidactiscism, and both were college dropouts? Yes. Saying that these men stayed true to who they are and who/what they believed in would be a strong understatement. So, in the case of Steve Jobs and Edwin Land, maybe it is acceptable and even expected for them to veer off-course and create a few new rules for the industry in the process; is it wrong for us to want to stay on the path they have paved for us in order to arrect our own empire? Absolutely not.
Job’s empire was not only governed by his own will-power, but it was also carefully constructed to highlight his beliefs and reflect his inspirations. Jobs confessed in a 1985 Playboy interview, “The man [Edwin Land] is a national treasure. I don’t understand why people like that can’t be held up as models: This is the most incredible thing to be — not an astronaut, not a football player — but this.” So, why try to stray so far from the path? Why try to re-invent the wheel? If there is anything we can learn from the hundreds of Winfreys and Zuckerburgs that have came before us, it is soak up their mistakes, embrace their accomplishments prowl after their lead, and most of all, get inspired!