February 22, 2015

Leadership: Helping sway from herd mentality

If you’re from an underdeveloped country like Pakistan you would’ve witnessed the strangest phenomenon ever. A bunch of mindless cows moo-ing and going where ever the rest of the cows were heading. Blank faces, dead eyes, but still moving as if they know where they are going when actually they don’t. That is called herd mentality. I must admit that many times I was also adhering to the same actions but that was because I was so good at it that my actions were inconspicuous and I wanted the leader to grab me and take me out of the herd. But that did not happen. I know that as a student of MBE I need to be more proactive and not rely on people to pick me up but this helped me observe the leaders and their capabilities and the various types of followership that I can demonstrate.

Paul said in class that we are born modellers and that we copy actions as soon as we see them. In my undergraduate school I had a friend who was a psychology major who told me that when we smile at babies and the babies smile back, they are not smiling because they are happy but because they are imitating emotions and actions. That’s who and what we are as human beings. We copy the people around us. Which is why when everyone expresses the same opinion, it is usually hard for people to go to the other side of the matter and raise their voice in favor of it. We as humans fear judgements and welcome social acceptability. These are the two factors that need to be tweaked by the leader to make their followers independent of others’ opinions and have their own original stance.

- 2 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Agreed, and I guess there must be a correlation between the atmosphere and the “swaying level”. Some cultures encourage open-minded thinking whilr weak people on the other hand try to surpress any unconventional thoughts. Level of maturity and experience also play a significant role.

    23 Feb 2015, 19:48

  2. It definitely does have a lot to do with the atmosphere and the swaying level but it more importantly depends on the person. You could create an environment highly conducive to learning and sharing but if a person is an introvert, those things won’t really have that big an impact. The motivation needs to come from within but at the same time also needs to be guided by the leader.

    26 Feb 2015, 00:25

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