Most people (including scholars) believe that we follow a person because of his or her personality or behaviour. In other words that we follow individuals we look up to, admire, get inspired by, etc. Meaning we follow individuals because of who they are.
This is a myth. As we discussed in the previous post before Christmas, we follow those we believe are best suited to help us reach a goal or solve a task. It would be ineffective, and frankly quite stupid, for a group of people to follow a single individual all the time. Especially if the only reason we followed was that a person was charismatic, inspiring, or what have you.
Instead, it’s natural for us to follow different people depending on what we want to achieve. This means we don’t follow a person because of his or her personality or behaviour. Rather we follow because of what we believe this person can do for us. The only reason we follow someone else is because we want to achieve something.
Put differently – different needs require different leaders.