Lessons in Leadership – Week 9 – Dr. Raul Font

During Dr. Font’s presentation he discussed several leadership styles and approaches, in addition to times he has learned from these styles, and the difficulty in discerning when to lead and when to follow. How do we move through the process of determining when its best to lead, and when it is best to follow?


  • Christina Bejoy

    Although Dr.Font’s presentation was centered around different leadership styles and when a leader should either lead or follow, a direct answer for this question was not stated. He demonstrated the importance of growth and adaptability in all leadership stages. The best quote that would directly answer the question on when a leader should lead is, “A leader is always a teacher and a student.” A leader is never done growing, there is always a different approach to take, a more efficient way to delegate or connect with their group members. On the other hand, as one gains experience being a leader, it is important to invest it in mentoring someone else. To answer the question, I think a leader should decide whether to lead or follow based on the people around them, if there is someone more passionate or has more knowledge about the topic they should be given the chance to lead and it is important to support the leader. Simultaneously, it is important to take charge at situations without a specific leader because as Dr.Font said, “the lack of leadership equals the presence of chaos.”

  • Emma Cunningham

    I think that genuinely knowing the people who you are working with is how to know whether you should lead or follow. If you know that you are the most qualified person, then that might be a good sign to lead, but it’s important to be aware if you leading will be stepping on the toes of others. Despite the feeling of being the most knowledgeable on the subject, it’s important to hang back and follow in many occasions to make sure that you are still able to learn from the other people you are working alongside. I think that it’s important to follow in situations where you are new to a situation, because there’s a strong chance that the others will be more experienced. I think the most common way that someone who is uninformed would be placed to lead would be when everyone else is also uninformed and then you just have to learn while leading, which would ideally be happening regardless of your knowledge of what you’re doing.

  • Jenna Karp

    It’s natural for us to take charge in certain situations in order for us to handle it the best way we think is possible. On the other hand, it’s super tough to release power, step back, and give someone else the reigns. I think the reminder of “when they succeed you succeed” has helped me to do just that. It’s important to acknowledge that if someone is confident enough to step in and take charge, then you have done your job as a leader. On the other hand, I’m not saying to just blindly follow someone or to relinquish your power without thinking, but it’s important to give others an opportunity to fail and succeed. Determining when to lead and when to follow is definitely a grey area, but it’s your job as a leader to help individuals grow their own leadership qualities rather than following someone/yourself their whole life.

  • Alondra Rios

    I feel like the process of determining whether to lead or follow is not an instinct answer. First, you must get to know the person or the group and with that, you know if to lead or to follow. I feel like you could sometimes find yourself confuse about whether to lead or follow but trust the process and your instincts. I feel like personally, life builds you up to know whether to follow or lead. When finding yourself leading don’t be an ignorant leader don’t think that you know everything find that balance. I feel like the environment in which you are at also could tell you if you are going to lead or even the position you have. Also, remember the leader will sometimes be learning with the followers which aren’t bad. Personally, I feel like your instincts your environment the position you have where you’re at will let you know if you’re leading or following. I feel like there is no in-between you either know or you don’t know but not knowing isn’t in issue time its self will show if you are one or not.

  • Alondra Rios

    I feel like the process of determining whether to lead or following is not an instinct answer. First you must get to know the person or the group and with that you know if to lead or to follow. I feel like you could sometimes find yourself confuse whether to lead or follow but trust the process and your instincts. I feel like personally life builds you up to know whether to follow or lead. When finding yourself leading don’t be an ignorant leader don’t think that you know everything find that balance. I feel like the environment in which you are at also could tell you if you are going to lead or even the position you have. Also remember the leader will sometimes be learning with the followers which isn’t bad. Personally, I feel like your instincts your environment the position you have where you’re at will let you know if you’re leading or following. I feel like there is no in between you either know or you don’t know but not knowing isn’t in issue time its self will show if you are one or not.

  • Kyrah Raasch

    Although it can be difficult to determine when to lead and when to follow, I believe that there are two particular ways that contribute to people knowing when to lead and when to follow. The first way is to understand the situation and person or people you are dealing with. Like Dr. Font mentioned, understand if the person should be let go to find their own ways, and possibly fail, but also know if it is not a good time to let them fail and instead teach and lead them. Dr. Font also brought up a situation where he said he felt like he failed when one of the people he was supposed to lead did not have the knowledge or courage to make a decision. The second way is knowing if you truly understand the situation at hand. If you are not properly equipped to handle task, then you should probably follow and let someone who is knowledgeable about the task do it and learn from them.

  • Marcus Evans

    There are many ways to determine when it is a good time to lead and when it is appropriate to follow. At the beginning of his speech, Dr. Font stated that he was a situational type of leader. In my other leadership class, I learned that leaders who lead with the situational approach understand that different situations demand different styles of leadership. A good trait of situational leaders is knowing how to adapt his or her leadership style into one that fits the competence level of the follower. Another trait of the situational leader is to be able to understand when to not be a leader. Sometimes being a follower is the best way one can lead. Skills such as reading the room or understanding peoples thoughts can help a leader know when it’s time to step down and follow.

  • Zain Whitlock

    The best times to lead are when you know and are confident in a situation that you can handle. If you are confident in hiking and leading others out of your comfort zone, you should teach others to do so.
    When you should follow, you need to watch someone do it before you go try it yourself. Sometimes on how to do something right is to watch someone else do it and watch.
    There are many situations for leading and following, but it’s a good idea to do both because if you only follow, you will never know when you should be leading.

  • Katherine Ryerson

    Dr. Font put a lot of emphasis on learning when to lead and when to follow. In fact, that is how he would define leadership. I appreciated the fact that Dr. Font gave examples of both when he succeeded and failed. The truth is, every leader will experience both success and failure. It is important to learn from our mistakes and take responsibility, just like Dr. Font did. Learning when it is best to lead or follow will take lots of time and practice. I believe with more experience, each leader would be better equipped to know when that time is. I also believe that it may not be the same for every situation. Sometimes, it may be beneficial to decide early on. Other times, it may be better to wait and observe the situation first. Overall, the more experiences you have will help you make the best decision on whether to lead or follow.

  • Personally, I find it very hard to know when I should follow and when I should step up and lead. However, Dr. Font’s speech really put things into perspective when he talked about the democratic approach to leadership. I think that you need to take a step back and look at the situation from an outside perspective instead of from your own, this way you can really determine whether you need to be leading the group or letting others flourish and follow them.

  • Amaya Coleman

    I think you have to evaluate the situation before deciding whether you are going to led or follow. You can lead when you can tell that no one is stepping up and taking control of the situation. I think you should follow when a certain authority figure is in charge. So it definitely depends on your circumstances.

  • Hana Abdelhadi

    Dr. Font made it clear that leaders are always students, as well as teachers. A good leader needs to constantly be learning in order to be the best version of themselves. It is best to lead when those around you need guidance and coaching. When you see people struggling and looking for someone to help them, it is a leader’s duty to step up and coach them through the issue. However, leaders also can be the ones that are following. For example, if someone has an idea that they are really confident and passionate about, it is also a leader’s duty to empower and support this person. Dr. Font said something that really resonated with me when he said “don’t listen with the intent to reply, but with the intent to understand”. A lot of the time we as leaders can get so caught up in trying to lead towards a certain goal that we forget to check in with our peers. It is more important to listen and react than it is to order and reply. To sum it all up, a leader knows when to lead and when to follow by assessing and listening to those around them.

  • Whisper McDoulett

    Determining when it is appropriate to lead or to follow can be a very complex thing. Many times it’s best to start with evaluating whom you are speaking to. Then one must determine whether they have something to teach you, or if it’s an opportunity to pour into someone else. All leaders are continually learning. Continual learning can range from collaborating with a colleague to learning how to better reach people in a leader position. Many leaders, including myself, have the tendency to want to speak up and lead others, therefore making it difficult to listen and be led by others. There will always be someone more knowledgeable on a given subject than you are. It’s important to learn from these leaders and absorb all they have to help build you up. This will aid in better overall leadership skills for oneself.

  • Jessica Caballero

    During Dr. Font’s presentation he discussed several leadership styles and approaches, in addition to times he has learned from these styles, and the difficulty in discerning when to lead and when to follow. How do we move through the process of determining when its best to lead, and when it is best to follow?

    As a person in the position of leadership it is important to listen to the needs of others to make that determination. Depending on the scenario, such as the example that Dr. Font depicted, it may be necessary to take firm aggressive actions in leadership in order to make the appropriate changes and improvement. Change is difficult in most organizations especially when it impacts that group. However, there will be times when it is the organization that decides how leadership takes action. Many times the collective whole needs something from leadership and it is up to leaders to come to an understanding that change is necessary to benefit the progress of organization.
    Dr. Font gave us a quote that made an impact on me “don’t listen with the intent to reply but with the intent to understand” I believe that as a leader we wear many hats and depending on the situation that we are put in we will wear different types of leadership style hats. Sometimes we have to be autocratic, and other times we will be more laissez faire or anywhere in between but know what you stand for and how you want to approach the problem as a leader.

  • Lani Hensley

    I really enjoyed Dr. Font’s presentation, especially when he stated that “leaders know when to follow and when to lead.” I believe we move through the process of determining when it’s best to lead and when to follow by first identifying our strengths and weaknesses. By doing this it allows us to know when to implement our strengths and when to sit back and allow someone to takeover. For example, other people in your team may know more about a certain topic or have more experience in that area. Realizing when to follow and when to lead can assist with making a firm group that capacities well in certain conditions as well as emergencies-ultimately leading to cohesion.

  • Claire Hardin

    Growing up, my mom would always tell me, “Be a leader, not a follower.” While I know she only had the best intentions in saying this, Dr. Font made me realize that being a leader encompasses being a follower as well.

    I think the decision to lead or follow depends on the community you are in at that given time, as well as the circumstances surrounding that community. As a small-scale example, I would not be the best team captain for intramural flag football since I have no idea how football works. On the other hand, I would feel competent leading a group of women who have dealt with similar insecurities. However, actually taking the initiative to act as a leader is difficult for me at times. I attribute this difficulty to losing confidence in the face of judgment and the fear of failing those I am leading. Therefore, I appreciated Dr. Font’s advice to surround yourself with those who will give you critical feedback, so as to learn to deal with dissent.

  • Jordan Montelongo

    Dr. Font was one of my favorite speakers we have had this far. He taught the class the different leadership styles and how each style translates to their followers and how it could affect the decisions made by leaders. With a variety of leadership styles and approaches, it gives leaders the opportunity to find their strengths and weaknesses to be effective both as leaders and as followers. Dr. Font emphasized “Great leaders know when to follow and when to lead.” When we are confident in something we believe in we become the best teachers but, as humans we are all students during our new life experiences. I believe that leaders are not born, but made.
    As leaders we do not understand all aspects of leadership and there will continue to be skills that we must learn. To become an effective leader it is important to take in and understand all perspectives by stepping back and becoming a follower. If we are not comfortable in a certain situation or uncertain of a specific topic it is okay to ask questions and show humility.

  • Sometimes it can be really difficult to discern whether you should be leading or following. You may think you know what’s best for the group, but the group may benefit from someone else’s leadership.

    If you’re struggling to figure out if you should lead or follow, consider the following questions:
    -Is anyone in the group more informed than you on the topic?
    -Does anyone have experience leading in that context? Do you?
    -Are you prepared to take on the responsibility of a leader?

    Your answers to these questions can determine whether or not you should be the leader. Remember, it is not bad to consider the role of a follower. It is actually very mature to consider your abilities and step back when you wouldn’t be leading the group to their full potential.

  • Kathryn Plunkett

    I think that a key indicator of when to lead and when to follow depends on the level of knowledge. If an individual is very confident in the topic presented, they should use that as a strength to lead the project. However, if one knows very little knowledge on the topic, they should take a step back and allow someone who is educated or has a lot of experience to lead the project. Either path taken is not right or wrong. What is right is recognizing your own strengths and the strengths of your teammates so everyone can use their skills most efficiently.

  • Jessica Jones

    Among many other insightful things within his presentation on both leading and following, in the democratic style, Dr. Font also noted the importance of constantly learning and teaching. Whether we like it not, and whether we choose to embrace and better it or not, we are all both students and teachers, especially in the sphere of leadership. Within this notion, Dr. Font stressed the importance of listening, and I believe that if we do listen and learn from those around us, walking the line between leading and following is a skill that we can acquire. In my own career as a children’s self defense instructor, this is something that has been especially difficult, and yet extremely necessary, for me to pursue. If one loses the children’s or their watchful parents’ attention or respect, then there is chaos, however, if one becomes overly authoritarian and neglects to listen, then trust, enjoyment, and even safety are threatened instead. While there is no definitive answer to finding balance, reading the room and identifying red flag factors are key, in addition to positive reinforcement. Much like Dr. Font implied, one should lead when there is chaos and follow when there is not, as there is likely a reason for its absence from which we can carefully observe and learn.

  • Jentri Jordan

    Knowing when to lead and when to follow is very important to leadership. You don’t always have to be the leader in order to show leadership qualities. All leaders are first followers until they are given the chance to lead. Knowing when to lead and when to follow first starts with a self assessment. You have to understand your strengths and your weaknesses, so you know when to take a step back and let someone else lead. By letting somebody else lead, but still offering support can sometimes be even better than leading yourself, because it lets another leader gain experience. Dr. Font describes his challenges with learning when to let other people let. He took the initiative to lead and make an impact in the school system, but also knew when he needed to move on and let somebody else take over and lead. Leadership comes with failure and even if you let someone else lead, and they fail it offers them a learning opportunity. Every leader is made through mistakes and failures. These are the learning experiences that make a strong leader.

  • Emilee J Handy

    I think that the best way to determine when to lead and when to follow is knowing the people around you. When you understand the people around you along with their strengths and weaknesses, then you can take each situation and determine if your strengths are best to lead the situation, or if someone else’s strengths are better for what is needed. It is best to follow when you are unsure, or do not have all of the information needed for you to lead. I think that choosing to follow is a hard choice for many people, but choosing to follow in some situations, is also showing leadership. Being able to put your pride aside and know that you are not the best person to lead every situation is a selfless decision that should be an option in every situation.

  • Teagan Jellison

    As a leader knowing when to lead and when to follow is a tricky task. Especially for those of us who prefer to be one or the other. When you come into a situation where you have to choose whether to lead or follow you have to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. You have to look at whether or not you can give your 100% effort, and if there is another person who may be more suited to lead than you. As a leader you have to realize that your job is not only to lead but to also push others to lead as well. Knowing when to lead and follow is a tricky balance, but when the time comes to decide, the best way to choose is to take an outside perspective on the situation. Realizing that this decision goes beyond yourself and effects others as well. Knowing when to step forward and when to take the backseat is a very important aspect of being a leader.

  • Isabel Baker

    This topic has always been tricky for me in social situations due to my nature to take over in leadership. Especially at times where I feel I know more about a specific thing than the people around me. All leaders struggle to find the line between “Should I take over?” and “Should I step back?” It can be extremely difficult as good leaders have good intentions, but it can come across the wrong way. Dr. Raul Font discussed that is a crucial to have a mix of both. Being tough or timid all the time weakens you and makes you less likely to bring the team you are leading towards success. I want to work towards being more open and accepting to different leadership styles. There are plenty of leaders I have had in the past that are either very harsh or let everyone walk all over them. Good leaders are firm, yet compassionate.

  • Ella Strader

    In my personal experiences there are different ways I know when I should step up and lead and when I need to follow. When it comes to leading a group I know it is important to listen to others opinion and take charge with others. Leading does not mean taking control, it means doing what is best for yourself and others by listening and deciding for a group. Following is a difficult topic for some, but for me it means giving input and letting others thrive while helping them. I normally follow when I know others are a better fit for a position and I know I can support them and help them grow.

  • Matelyn Jones

    The biggest thing about knowing how to know when to lead and when to follow is being adaptable. The world is always changing and we need to be able to change with it. The only way to really know when to follow and when to lead is gain experience, reflect, and learn as much as you can. The best learning tool is experience. That is why in math we have so many practice problems because you never truly understand it until you do it a bunch of times. It is also good to reflect to see when you should have followed and when you should have lead. It is also beneficial to learn from others and different type of circumstances that you agree with and don’t. It is also important to communicate with others to know when you need to lead and follow.

  • Isidro Fonseca

    Dr. Font’s illustrated multiple ways of leadership he has experienced through his career and what he learned from those experiences. I think it could be difficult to determine with certainty when its best to lead or when to follow, rather it depends on the circumstances of the situation. Although Dr. Font mentioned that leadership skills and styles change from time to time, it’s important to seek your leadership style. By doing so, you are more aware of your capabilities of when it is best to lead and when to follow. One of the phrases that he mentioned and I think has a deep meaning is that “when there is lack of leadership, there’s presence of chaos”. This phrase is very true but sometimes it goes by unnoticeable. Therefore, when there is lack of leadership it can be easy to follow a problem but it can be difficult to be the leader to solve the problem. In addition, good leaders are great listeners who understand what they are listening to. This is a great attribute for leaders as it could help understand a situation faster and with great context, leading to taking the decision to lead or follow.

  • There is no definitive answer to determining when to lead and when to follow. Truthfully, it really depends on the situation. For example, if an opportunity were to arise in a life or death situation, are you willing to take the hit first and bite the dust first for those under your care as well as hold the responsibility to lead them to success? Even if it means throwing them under the bus? Of course, this is no easy task because when you decide to lead, you have to be able to inspire the group you are leading. By inspiring, I mean leading with a plan that encapsulates the core beliefs of what the whole group values and your own morale values as well. But, inspiring a group of people is hard when the one leading begins to doubt their beliefs and walks away with “ I don’t believe we can do this.” Because of that doubt, this leads to letting others make choices for them. If there is no one to take on the role of leading, it becomes chaos and the outcome of the situation is not predictable. However, if the one who leads holds onto that core belief as well as considers the sentiments of the people, this installs confidence within the group and grows influence. Not only that, trust is another outcome. Even if there are failures and mistakes along the way, a leader knows how to keep believing in their values and knows that the moment you stray from your beliefs, it just spells out that you are waiting for something to happen rather than making it happen. This quality of believing in something is what makes a leader charismatic. Lastly, when one decides to follow, it is best to learn the mistakes of others so that when you lead, you can make a impact and be mentor to others. It is all about the learning experiences that empowers the leadership style you express in each situation you are placed in.

  • When to lead and when to follow is, in my opinion, situational. The reason I believe this stems from Dr. Fonts story about the fire that broke out while he was gone. He left his Vice-Principal in command of the school, and when a fire broke out, the Vice-Principal called him to ask what to do. This is an example to me of when a person should have decided to lead at the moment. A leader, like Dr. Font said, is continuously growing. But to grow, you have to follow and listen and learn from those around you. The result is if something like this happens again, you are trained for the moment and know what to do and how to handle it. Another way to know when to lead and when to follow is by judging your qualifications and the people around you. If they are more qualified or have the strengths to do it, they should be the ones given the leadership role in that position. This goes back to Dr. Fonts’ point of “Finding strengths and weaknesses of those around you.” By letting the most qualified lead, incidents, like the school fire, can be avoided.

  • Jessica Lopez

    To lead or to follow has always been a difficult decision for me because what if I’m wrong? There will always be what ifs and rights/wrongs. At the end of the day, what’s right is what’s right FOR YOU. Dr. Font set an excellent example of being a leader when it came to issues in the school system and letting people down when it was necessary. He has that strength, which led him to lead. Being a follower may indicate that you might need a little more experience in the situation or you would like to be an observer. Followers might not be quite yet ready to lead, and that’s okay. Followers learn, leaders teach.

  • Jerzi Hawkins

    I believe that the skill of following is very important to leadership. Knowing when your voice is needed as a leader and when you need to step back and listen is very important to being an effective leader. We need to assess two things to make the decision. The first is the subject matter. If the subject is something you are very passionate about and know inside and out, you may be needed as the leader. If it is something you are not knowledge on, you might take time to step back and learn and follow someone who is more educated and let them teach you. The second is the audience you are leading. If you think the audience will respond best under your direction, you could be the most effective leader. But, if the audience would better respond to a different persons direction, let them take the lead.

  • Miranda McLean

    I am a strong believer in the idea that there is not a specific time that we lead or follow. I think that it is just a matter of circumstance, and how we decide what is best to navigate through that circumstance.

    Dr. Font discussed and presented multiple different types of leaders and had us discover and put a name to what kind of leader we are. He told us situations in which his leadership has been challenged, as well as moments in which he has followed. He expressed that as leaders or followers, we should continue to listen and work together. He also explained that to be a great leader, we must know when to lead and when to follow. I found this particularly interesting because sometimes we constantly feel the need to be in charge, and sometimes feel failed if this isn’t the case. This helped open my eyes to understand that following is just as important as leading; it just depends on what feels right for the circumstance.

  • Emily Patrick

    The process of deciding of when to lead and when to follow is different for everyone. The reason being that everyone has different limits. Being able to know when you are past your limits is one of the biggest parts of knowing when to step forward and when to stay still. On the flip side, knowing your strength is important as well. When it is time to stand up and you know that your style of leadership and past experience may be the best way to go in that situation.

  • David Harlin

    The concept of knowing when to lead and when to follow is based on knowing you’re personnel. It is so important to know who you are working with and be able to determine if you can trust them in a leadership role. Being a leader does not mean you have all the right ideas or you always know the right move. Being a leader means being able to surround yourself with people you can trust to think rationally and solve critical issues. Being able to lean on those types of people is imperative. Sometimes as a leader you find yourself leaning/trusting the people you’ve surrounded yourself with to be able to come up with solutions to problems.

  • James Brison

    I believe that there are different situations in which you can determine when it is best to lead and when it is best to follow. If you are knowledgeable in a topic, you know you are capable of leading, and there is not already a strong leader present, step up and lead those around you. However, there are times where there is already a strong leader and sometimes that leader needs a strong student. You can learn from that leader, so that you can then become a leader if you are ever needed in that situation. Yet sometimes if you can be a strong student and help other students achieve success, then in turn you are being a leader. There are times where you can either be not qualified or not needed as a leader, and that is alright. Yet you can always make sure to lead in whatever capacity you are able to.

  • jackson Lehew

    Whenever I first started getting into leadership positions, I would always hear people say, “To be a good leader, you need to know when to follow.” This quote always stick out to me because it is saying that there are times where your leadership might not be the best for a situation. There could be times where someone else that is more experienced than you could lead out better than you at a certain activity, and you just need to accept that. To be a leader, you have to start out as a follower. The most successful people have all had people lead them before they ever lead. So a strong leader should know his limits and his or her strengths.

  • Tori Hoffman

    Throughout my time at UCO I have grown into different leadership styles. I started of with the basic telling people what to do and delegating tasks. This is where I would stop. Dr. Font mentioned this in his talk, where leaders fall short when it comes to delegating because they do not take the time to go over what is happening. I realized what I was doing was not working so I once again changed. I did everything, and I truly mean everything. I gave no real responsibility to anyone. That was probably the worst thing I have done leadership wise for everyone involved, especially myself. I am now trying to find a happy medium, but that also means that I need to allow others to lead and I need to help them. Even if our titles say otherwise.

  • Tanner Trevino

    I think you should always have an open minded mind set which allows you to be either a leader or a follower whenever the time is deemed necessary. You’ll typically lead if you have confidence in whatever you’re doing more than anyone else, this isn’t every case but if you feel you can do something better than others you should always trust your gut. You’ll typically follow if you’re not exactly confident in whatever is being led. For most of us it’s hard to determine when we should lead or follow but in my opinion if you trust yourself more than others lead, if you don’t, learn from those leading. Leaders should always be able to follow and learn from those leading while also being capable of standing up and leading when needed. Raul talked about leading and how he believes those he leads should have the confidence to take up the leadership role if need be and if they don’t have that confidence he failed. I strongly believe this and also think it’s something to take into consider whenever you’re deciding if you should lead or follow.

  • Kelsey Sanchez

    I believe a true leader can lead but also knows when to follow. A leader is still in the process of learning and while learning, they are followers. If you are a leader and someone else has a great idea then that requires the leader to follow. Trust the other person and follow their idea. As a leader you can still follow and offer your support and other helpful ideas. I believe allowing yourself to follow is also a great quality of a leader. I believe leaders can learn from other leaders because they can follow their steps and learn new ideas and skills. to determine if I should lead or follow I would listen to the individual carefully. Are they confident in their idea? Do they know more about the topic than I do? If they have more knowledge on the topic or idea then it would be best for me to follow. I want to follow someone with strengths that are my weaknesses because I could learn from that. There is always room for growth so allowing yourself to follow is building better leadership.

  • Cheyanne Young

    Choosing between leading and following can be difficult at times. I distinctly remember Raul talking about how you just know when it is time to step up and be a leader. The opportunity presents itself. When it comes to being a follower on the other hand, you have to be able to analyze the situation and make sure the person you are following is leading you in a good direction. Whether it be being a leader or being a follower, the choice is yours.

  • Kelci Hoffman

    A good leader is able to take a step back and ask “am I the right person for the job?” if the answer is no, then that person should take a step back and release that power. If the answer is yes, then they are able to lead at the best of their ability. Being a good leader does not mean that a person needs to lead in every situation. Sometimes there are people who are better suited to lead.

  • Olivia Shults

    When you are leading it is important to know when to lead and when to follow. Making this decision of when to lead and when to follow can be a difficult decision to make. Leaders are often seen as the people in the in the front of the crowd giving instructions, but leaders aren’t always the ones at the front of the crowd. Everyone has their different strengths and for many that is not standing in front of a group leading, but a good leader knows when they need to. Learning when to lead and when. to follow is something that comes with trial and error, sometimes you are going to mess up but failure is a part of leadership. Dr. Font talked about the different styles of leadership. He also talked about the importance of knowing your type of leadership, knowing your type of leadership can help you determine when to lead and when to follow.

  • Roy Angele Kubwimana

    It can be hard when you are already a leader to know where to lead or follow. By default, you are prompt to lead even though you are unsure of what you are doing. It is good to be vulnerable and admit that you are not familiar with what you are leading people for and ask for someone else help. We are all humans, which means we do not know everything, but we can learn everything if we are willing.

  • Casey Merrill

    I think that it is not easy to know when to step back and when to step up. I the best way to learn is probably from experience and knowing the people you are working with. If you know someone who is interested in an aspect you know well then step back and let them handle it and offer advice and help when needed. Make sure everyone has a voice and that their wants and needs are being taken into consideration while planning. Listening to feedback might also be helpful.

  • Meralyn Staudt

    Determining when it is best to lead or when to follow is almost never an easy process. Sometimes we feel the urge to take initiative and get things started ourselves, but this doesn’t always result in the most positive outcome. In reality, the people who are most experienced, passionate, and comfortable in the area that said leadership is necessary. In a situation where you may not be best suited to lead, showing support, enthusiasm, and cooperation towards the person who is leading is a way to still be impactful and helpful! To be a positively influential person, you don’t always have to be the “head” leader. Participation, even in small ways, is a form of leadership, as well as recognition of your own weaknesses!

  • Jayden Batcheller

    Personally, I don’t think there is a process to knowing when to lead and to follow, it is more of a feeling. Every situation is different, so for me, after I have assessed my situation, I will act. If I feel comfortable I am more likely to obtain a leader role, whereas if I am uncomfortable, I’m more likely to be a follower. I would also take into account who I am around. If I know those around me, more likely to act as a leader, if I don’t, more likely I will act as a follower. I can’t be a leader somewhere I do not feel comfortable being myself.

  • Harper Pitts

    Although the sentiment is used in a colloquial manner, knowing or sensing when there are ‘Too many cooks in the kitchen’ is a relatively simple concept to have at-hand when balancing leadership and discipline. For those who exhibit more robust leadership styles like myself, it’s often difficult to avoid the chance to showcase my leadership abilities when opportunity arises. When there are others who are as leadership-oriented as I am in many environments, a humble leader would allow an opportunity to learn from another perspective. Often, I feel some misconstrued leaders as people who have surpassed learning. However, a well rounded leader is not ALWAYS a leader in the moment and can sense when their strengths are not necessary for that moment.

  • Alexis Aguinaga

    Dr. Font made many good points regarding leadership and the one that stuck up to me the most is when he described different types of leadership types and when to use them. He is a different leader to his kids than he was to others peoples kids. Another valuable lesson he spoke on knowing when to lead and when to follow. This is a skills that really stuck out to me. There is no rule of how to be a leader but to hear from him and how he became a successful leader. You have to maintain a balance between knowing when to lead and when to follow.

  • Kaylee Bjorkley

    Although I missed Dr. Raul Fonts’ lecture I believe that knowing when it is time to take control and when to let go is determined by your surroundings and who you have in your corner. If I am working in a group with LOT kids then I know ideas will get bounced around and that everyone will do their part. This will allow me to share the wealth but know the mission will get completed at the end of the day. Now if I’m working with a group of kids from my english class, this may be where I need to pick up and lead the crowd. Who knows, maybe I won’t need to. Its about knowing your capabilities and the peoples’ around you to know wether you need to lead, or if you can loosen up and let someone else use that opportunity. Something I realized this weekend. If you’re stressed out and need help, ask for it, people are all over ready to help you. Know when enough is too much and ask for a shoulder. You also don’t want to be the bossy do what I say leader, but you do need to take charge when no one else is and if someone else is, let them. You don’t to be on top of things if someone else is already there, just help them if they need it, other that that, follow them.

  • Cecilia Alali

    Knowing when it is best to lead or follow is a perpetual question that needs to be answered as a leader. You never get a definitive answer to apply to all or even most situations. I loved hearing about Dr. Font’s situations and how he changed his view with each new one. From his speech, I gathered that the easiest way to know is to examine the situation and the people of leaders already found in said situation. From there, you can decide whether it’s better to take a front row seat, or support from the back. Both, however, require us to be leaders. I thought that Dr. Font’s observation of that was really profound.

  • Ashley Jimenez

    For me personally, I base it off of the certain situation. I need to know myself and recognize when it is best for me to step back. If I do not know much about a specific task, I am going to follow not lead because I do not want to lead my group through the wrong path. The same goes with a task that I am familiar with; I will lead that group. However, if I know how to do a certain task well but another person in my group knows how to execute it better, I will follow the other person. Another instance is when no one is the group knows what to do. I tend to step up and try my best to lead something I know nothing about. Along the way, I always ask the other people for input.

  • Adrian Smith

    Most people who took the opportunity to be leaders at one point followed someone else. Sometimes we are given opportunities to take lead and better ourselves and others around us. People most often take lead when it’s evident that failure is coming. Instead, the failure should be taken into consideration and the task of being a leader should be taken when progress halts due to the failure. The nature of the people who surround you should also be accounted for when problems arise.

  • Harrison Higdon

    As leaders, we can often times over work ourselves and find us trying to everything asked of us, even if at at times we don’t have the time or are not able to do these task. Which is never a fun feeling. That’s why I think being able to be reactive, and adaptable, is a very important part of leadership that I feel isn’t brought up enough. Being hands on and leading charge is so rewarding and something I have always enjoyed doing, but it’s important to also remember to lead in other ways, by taking a back seat to watch, instead of follow. Taking a step back and listening too is also very beneficial in all forms of leadership. Asking questions to your peers about how they are feeling, and reaching out to check on them can go a long way and is a great tactic to getting people engaged. Also finding what work strategies work best for each individual. Differentiating people so they can excel in their strengths is something that can boost moral a lot of them time. Like giving outspoken, confident people, speaking task. Or giving a shy but determined worker more tasks that fit in line with what they favor. Understanding each other is what will bring success