It seems we get a lot of dating advice (often unsolicited) from friends, family, and even strangers. And most of the time it’s either useless, out of context, or just based on one person’s personal experience.
Well, here’s something totally different for a change. Meet Liz Leia, a dating guru for men. She started as an editor for Sean Stephenson’s Inner Game Magazine and now coaches men on attraction.
Check out the article by her below and as always, drop a comment. Would love to hear your thoughts on what she has to say about leadership myths.
Leaders and Followers
By Liz Leia
Most of us are afraid to truly lead. We feel like it’s much easier to follow, to let someone else take charge. Actually, leading is not as difficult as it seems—once you let go of the belief that it involves controlling others.
It’s impossible to control other people. Even in extreme situations, like if you held a gun to someone’s head, that person would still have a choice between complying with your request and getting shot.
When someone wants to follow your lead, it’s a very different dynamic. Take you, for example. You don’t follow the FinerMinds blog because Vishen or anyone else is making you; you’re doing it because you want to—there’s value in it for you.
Leading implies that someone wants to follow you, and this is the case more often than you probably realize—especially when it comes to dating. That’s because in a dating context (if it’s going well) there’s going to be a sexual charge created by the fact that one person is going to have more masculine energy and the other will have more feminine energy.
Traditionally, masculine energy leads, and feminine energy wants to be led. This means that if the man has strong masculine energy, his date will want to follow his lead (this also works the other way around, with the woman leading, but for right now, let’s assume it’s the man that’s leading).
When she trusts you to lead, without being controlling or needy, then she will be compelled to choose to follow. So how does this work?
With my one on one clients, I do an exercise where I take them to a place like the Santa Monica promenade, where there are lots of shops and other places to walk to, and I ask them to pick a place and lead me there.
Then I go everywhere else I want to go until they actually compel me to go with them. Most women aren’t going to test you this much on an actual date, but the same principles to lead effectively apply.
Now when someone first starts this exercise, inevitably he tries all kinds of tactics to control, convince, and cajole me into going with him to wherever he’s chosen as the destination.
“Come on, we’re going here now.” Oh are we? Says who?
“Hey, come on, there’s this really cool thing I want to show you.” So cool you have to beg me to go? No thanks…
And sometimes, I’ve had a guy grab my arm and try to pull me. None of this works. This is controlling, and underneath controlling is the energy of desperation. A woman (or anyone that you want to lead) won’t follow a desperate person.
Behind all of this is usually the belief that I wouldn’t want to follow his lead, so he has to engage is all kinds of tactics and trickery to get me to do it anyway.
Inevitably, it boils down to one question: what makes you think your lead isn’t worth following?
By the way, when I say follow, I’m not talking about being brain-washed or losing control. When a person chooses to follow, he or she doesn’t give up any power to you, and that’s the beauty of it. Because he or she isn’t giving up any power, you don’t need to strong arm your way into taking any.
Again, the feminine wants to follow the masculine’s lead, so if you have a lead worth following, it’s easy.
A lead worth following doesn’t mean you need to pull out all the stops and take her on the coolest, swankiest, most amazing and astounding date ever. It means that you know where you’re going, you have a good reason for going there, and you care that she goes with you.
This is as simple as…
Knowing where you’re going: That Italian restaurant on the corner.
Having a good reason to go there: The food is really good.
Caring that she goes with you: It’s not just about the food; you want to share the experience with her.
Again, most of the time, she would choose to follow you, if you only you’d get over yourself and believe in your own ability. People are usually so insecure that they don’t really believe they can lead. This is where the tendency to fall back on controlling habits happens.
Leading is about believing in yourself, first, that you have in fact made a good choice (even if that good choice is simply picking a restaurant with good food).
Once you know that xyz is a good choice, and you fully believe in it, then leading is as easy as saying, “Hey, let’s go do xyz.”
Now of course, you might be thinking, “Well, not everyone will go along with my suggestions.” No, not everyone will, but the people that don’t wouldn’t have no matter what. Again, you can’t control other people, so if someone adamantly won’t do something, there’s nothing you can do to change his or her mind.
On a date, though, the feminine energy person (usually the woman) wants you to lead, and so in this context, taking the reigns is much easier than you might think.
One of the best first dates I ever had involved a man who knew how to lead really well. I remember wanting sushi for dinner, but when he said, “Hey, let’s go. We have reservations,” and then took me to a Spanish restaurant, I suddenly didn’t care about Japanese food. Because, look, there’s a sushi restaurant a block from my house and I can get sushi any time I want. But to be able to be led and taken on a great date—now that’s a treat.
So next time you are out, either on a date or just with your friends, practice by simply saying, “Hey, let’s do this.” You’ll be surprised at how easily you’ll inspire others to follow your lead.