It’s happened to me a few times now. We are going somewhere and I am asked to follow someone else’s car. I observed three types of leaders:
1. The Highly skilled but somewhat Self-Centred Leader: The driver in the car ahead of me just zooms past leaving me to figure out the way myself. They are usually very skilled at manoeuvring through the traffic themselves. You will usually lose them at a traffic signal that they go past leaving you stranded waiting for the light to turn. They are nowhere to be found after the light turns green for you and you are left to find your own way.
2. The Spoon-feeding, Risk-Averse Leader: The driver in the car ahead of me treats me like a first time driver. They don’t realize the driving skills I already have. They go very slowly and cautiously so as to not lose me but in the process make me lose interest and want me to overtake them. Their slow pace could also be because they themselves don’t know the way or are new drivers themselves.
3. The Leader who you gets you to destination smoothly: The driver in the car ahead of me defines the pace I go at. They always keep an eye on me in the rear view mirror and make sure they don’t lose me. At the same time they don’t let me slow down too much, pushing me to speed up when they do. They are always waiting for me to catch up in case they lose me on a traffic signal.
So what do you do when you have someone following you, in a car or otherwise at work? Do you show off your skills and leave the followers behind to catch up? Do you consider their prior experience and leverage that or challenge them with a faster pace? Do you make sure you don’t leave anyone behind while ensuring that you maintain speed to reach your goals?