There is a powerful simple proverb, which can take diverse forms. If well understood, that comprehension can save a lot of time lost due to confusion and blaming, and can create great consequences. It goes:
The only one who can lead you is you.
Why this is so important to understand is because we are so accustomed to imitate others who are better than us in specific practices that we forget all our distinctiveness and personal points of strengths which can surprisingly help us, rather than the common preconception that it deters us in our quest to learn or improve at a particular skill. We stop using our own incredible uniqueness and plus points and that is what really pushes us down from getting better at something.
For example if a person with an extraordinarily low voice wants to learn music and create his own songs. And he decides to learn by emulating Justin Beiber (an extremely high pitched voice) since he wishes to become a singer just like Justin. Well, that obviously won’t work. The apprentice would have to bury his inherently unique low voice to sing in a high pitch. And that unequivocally would be foolishly hard.
Rather if the learner would try and enhance on his own low-pitched flat voice, his voice would sound so much more natural and he could be a great composer. Further, and more importantly, he would be an original singer.
On the flip side then, the way to lead and guide anyone become better at their job or chosen skill, has got to be to uncover the distinctiveness of the individual. To lead is not necessarily showing what the leader is good at, or the myriad things the leader knows, but it is to reveal to the follower what the follower’s strengths are and what the person being led already knows. Then furthermore helping the disciple on building up on those points of power.
Henry Miller puts this in a good way to additionally comprehend from the learner’s perspective:
“The only way in which anyone can lead you is to restore to you the belief in your own guidance.”
It is when the teacher teaches the apprentice in accordance with the apprentice’s strengths and needs, not how “people have always been taught”, is what teaching and leading people to be able to conquer the world is all about.
This is exactly the opposite done in large companies where one important person is reported to by fifty-hundred people (some of whom the leader can’t even remember the names of) which creates so much chaos and confusion.
The same problem is repeated with schools. One teacher and one class for forty different, curious individuals, all with different strengths and weaknesses, and contrasting views on topics, who are all to learn the same curriculum and write the same test. That’s. Not. Cool. This leads to the students’ helpless situation where school (a place to learn) becomes more of a burden everyday.
Individuality is what unites us. And that is exactly what each person needs. To be themselves. To be led as if they were leading oneself. The world would benefit from more authenticity and less imitations.