By |Published On: July 3rd, 2021|Categories: Michael Clunn|

“There are many bosses that couldn’t lead a horse to water. And there many subordinates that couldn’t follow a parade.”

Do you know what role you’re playing in the Libertarian movement? Within the MiCauc? And more importantly, are you doing a good job in that role?

I’m sure if I asked anyone to come up with a list of what makes a good leader it would be pretty lengthy, and fairly accurate. It might be slightly harder to do that for what makes a good follower but I still expect a good and accurate listing could be made by all. I mean really, take a moment and think of five traits for either. Not too difficult, right?

We all have an innate knowledge of what traits are good in each role. Does having those traits make you good in your role? I say NO. Those traits might make you a quality human being, but they don’t make you a good leader or follower just because.

More important than traits is that you consciously accept the role you’re stepping into and embrace the reality that there are critical things you MUST do to be good in that role. Otherwise you’re little more than a polite bystander.

Now is the time to figure out which role you want to play and make the conscious choice to embrace it.

Do you want to be a leader? Central to the role of leadership is taking responsibility and accountability for the organization. You’re the captain and you steer the ship. Where it goes and what happens are on your shoulders. You get all the booty if you do well, or you go down with the ship if you do poorly. A lot people don’t want this responsibility because of this heavy burden.

A leader also has to do things; and be generally good at those things.

The core things a leader does are provide direction, create structure, and set the culture. Call these the core competencies. Being good or bad at these competencies leads to the most critical standard by which we judge a leader:


Want to know if you’re a good leader? Tell me how well you’re trusted by those you lead and that is the answer.

Look at what happened with JBH. Did he execute his role well? Not really. Was he doing the things well? Nope. That is why people stopped trusting him and he had to resign. Buh bye.

It’s easy to lay blame on a leader; would you have done better in his spot? Tell me why. Everyone wants to be the leader, but every organization needs good followers too.

As Libertarians and MiCaucs we are ALL followers. We follow the ideals of Libertarianism and those that are in charge of the party. The core role of followership is acting in pursuit of the organization’s goals. This is exactly what Michael Heise says on every interview he gives: that we need to put our identity behind the goal of the MiCauc and LP. This requires a commitment of us all. That commitment is the stake you have in the game. If you don’t have stake in the game then you’re probably not going to be doing much. Figure out how you can commit to achieve Libertarian goals and go do those things. And like leaders, followers also have a few core things they must be doing.

The most effective things a follower can do are to be independent, critical thinkers and actively engaged (Kelley, 1988). Taken alone that looks like a pure Libertarian ideal of decentralization. Followers aren’t robots to be programmed and set loose. They are those that have their own ideas and figure out how to create their own solutions. They are always out there and making a contribution to better the group.

You may have noticed that there really isn’t a huge difference between the two.

The difference is your acceptance of a given role and your performance of the things you need to do in that role. If you’ve developed yourself into a quality human being then you’re set to be a good leader or follower.

Choose your role. Do your thing.


Kelley, R. (1988, November). In Praise of Followers. Harvard Business Review.




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