WHEN TO LEAD AND WHEN TO FOLLOW

I decided that I didn’t want to be a leader back in middle school. I also decided that I despise group exercises and if the teacher would have given me a choice, mine would have been to go it alone. Except the lesson was about team building, and it was expected that I acclimate to the small group I was left with.

That is exactly how it went too. The teacher announced the assignment at the head and beginning of class, and then she left us to form our teams, “Remember… only five kids per group.”

I became the fat kid out on the field. You know the one I am talking about. The poor bastard that knows he is going to be the last one picked to play dodge ball at recess, not only because he is slow, but because he is the easiest target to pick off.

I didn’t even try to be picked. I stood there in the middle of the room while everyone else scurried like crabs needing rock solid cover to be with the people they like best. I didn’t care who I ended up with on this day. I liked everyone the same and I will tell you right now, I did not care to be with any one of them. I wanted to be alone with my ideas and I had plenty.

It was the first class assignment that resonated with me as life changing and the topic was…

HAIR CARE PRODUCTS. Specifically shampoo and conditioner.

The lesson that we were taught is that consumers will never be happy forever, not even under the best circumstances. “Research shows us that people crave new and better things.”

If you are someone that has spent the time developing a product or building a business I know that you spent endless hours thinking about just that, “How can I make my customers happy forever?” I know because I have been there myself. Less than ten years after I decided I would never be a leader I became one inadvertently. I grew up to run my own business and it just so happens that leadership is required for my line of work.

I didn’t know why I was so upset that day back in middle school, other than the obvious reason which was that I wanted to be alone. I found myself in the middle of a group that I could have been absent from, and by all intent and purpose I was. I was not interested in actively participating in what I now recognize as “repeated failure.” The assignment was to put a Band-Aid on a broken system.

Our teacher explained to us that companies invest in knowing how and why people buy so that they can do everything that they can to gain an edge against the competition. The data collected proves an interesting quandary because it just so happens that consumers need what established products cannot sustain. People need the next and greatest thing. What is trending now?

I am not trendy. I am a total freak. There is a movie that reminds me of what I feel inside when I look at myself from the outside. It’s called Nightcrawler. It’s about a man who is brilliant, yet off. I would draw a same comparison, except that he cares not for the casualties, recognizing that they are necessary evil. He allows his to die, sloughing all excess off as waste. He has no friends. He has no family. He has no loyalty to anything except his success. It’s interesting because the movie begins with him trying to get a job. He was told “NO” flat, and it was because of who he is, “I would never hire a thief.”

Most of us would argue with that kind of accusation. The main character of this film (Lou) did not bother. He accepted the title of “thief” as one part of who is he is and then he moved in a direction counter to becoming the identity of it. The speed he chose was advanced. The movie ends with him morbidly successful and expanding with a team in business. It also ends with people dead.

I do not want success like that, but I live in a world where people expect it will need to come that way. People only rise by throwing other people under the bus, by sacrifice (human), and cheaper is the best way to profit. Even the noblest people urge me to gain from evil.

I had a meeting with a great man the other day. He is an activist for forestry and he is quite brilliant in his own right except that for all his creative freedom he can not focus enough to make real change for his cause. He gardens instead, while his forest is being ripped from the earth by big business. I intend to become big business, which I why I reached out to him for help building my company. I figured he would want to have an opportunity to create something different than destructive consumerism, but instead of allowing himself a solution for his cause, he handed all my hard work back to me, and told me to outsource to people in other countries who are willing to work for less.

Maybe I will cut down the trees by his home first to make more paper for the money I will make without him. Yes, I said money, and I agree it is evil and worthless. It is unfortunate that so many are tied to the value of having a lot of something that does not have meaning to spend. It is also unfortunate that simple people who want simple life do not understand that money is that animal. It is simple, until you ask what simple is.

The simple assignment we were given back in middle school, the one about shampoo and conditioner, was to reinvent a product that is currently on the market. We were all given the same task and that was to find ways to entice new interest for a classic and recognized brand shampoo brand. The guides we were given were in regard to creative packaging, and suggestive selling. Our teacher handed us empty bottles for comparison, the current product that we were set to remake. We were to work in small groups for planning: what would our new bottle look like? What size should it be? What color and for what reason?

We were to write up a paper on our findings and there was a deadline of one week, but in class time only. We really only had four hours to prepare and while my group was a buzz of leadership and delegation I was removed and stuck. I was stuck on the question I am still asking to this day.

How do I keep people happy to the extent of first choice and by means of the best product,

ALWAYS.

I know that people need what is #NEWS and #TRENDING, what’s innovative, more progress…

MORE. MORE. MORE. MORE. MORE. MORE.

I was numb as I was sitting there that day in pre-teen wonder. The class I had before the one that did me under, taught me about resources, renewable and non. Then I learned what happens when man made material does not break back down to earth. I went to sleep that night enslaved by nightmares choking on a world full of trash with no where to put it. I tried to find ways to get it out to space, while I dreamed of finding my own space within the world of my life. It was a nightmare I had for many years. I live with it in the back of my mind now. My dreams inspire me today.

I knew twenty years ago that we are doomed as a society, or at least that is what I felt back then before I decided I should run for president. Back when I thought that leadership was for bossy people with power trips, or egotistical attention whores. Why do you think Barack Obama decided that he wanted to become president? Do you think it was because he is black or because he had a different vision for our county?

Where did that vision come from? I had never heard of Barack Obama before he was suddenly there as our token black man, to compete against the token white woman, who was running as his opponent in the primary as proof that America IS progressing.

You know…

The world is made of rulers in every color and QUEEN is the universal language of respected title.

What have we proven by our vote other than a black man was chosen over a woman with the highest perceived advantage by race and also notoriety. Hilary is a stout candidate. I would have voted for her then, I will not vote for her now if she ever runs again because I don’t like to look at her anymore. I liked her better when she was young and pretty. That’s how it goes with women. I did not set the standard, but I could revise it.

It seems America’s most pressing issue is healthcare and jobs that allow the freedom of a simple lifestyle and time for family. We are only so humble as to want enough.

There are not enough resources… or are there?

I think there is plenty here in America. Enough that we should welcome more people instead of trying to keep them out by borders. We cold have the world if we could only love it first.

Love is stupid though.

It is a stupid girl thing.

Love makes girls do stupid things.

Girls do stupid things for love like hugging trees in protest of big business, when big business comes to cut down a beloved forest. We are the nicest way to prove a point and mine is this:

The girl who died because she loved is still dead. Not only did she die with the tree she loved, the steel that took her from life tore her flesh open like meat and then it pushed her to pulp as her brains squeezed from her eyes, as blood smattered from her nose like a sneeze, but it did not happen that fast. She died slowly, tortured and quaking as the ground shook below her little feet and she held on to that tree until the end, chained to all hope that that of course the men would not run her down because if the tree was worthless as least she was. She believed in her life to the death of it, and before she died she felt agony. It ran down her legs in fear as piss, trickling at first, an aggravating tickling before the flood came. All her bowels fell open next, to the tractor of industry, because the world loved money more than her life could ever be worth.

If you can see a world where that girl lives you should lead. If you only see that girl dying you should follow.

Thank you for following my story. It means life to me to share it.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: