About Me

What I Do

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No one is.

Look, I get that we want to develop people into the best they can be, but there is a reason that we value leadership. Like all valued things, it’s rare. When we try to compel people into the role of leader, we devalue, either explicitly or implicitly, the idea that there is value in being a follower.

And without those followers, there can be no real leaders.

This is similar to the points John Ratzenberger and Mike Rowe have made about the push to have college viewed as the only acceptable alternative for high school students, with skilled trades presented as second (at best) class options.

I use myself as an example. I am good at my job. Sometimes very good. But then I remember the lesson of the FedEx logo, and remember that I am not a leader in the field, and that is ok. How many A list actors would do a local-market television ad? See the point? We need people who are not leaders to do the work the leaders inspire in us. I would never have come up with the arrow in the FedEx logo, but I see it, and understand it, and can use that to inform my own choices in design.

We need people who are skilled followers too. More than ever, it seems.