Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Leader of the Pack

A few months ago, my sister Anne and I were in the local grocery store, when we were helped by a physically remarkable cashier. I didn't say anything while at the counter, but as soon as we were done and on our way to the parking lot, I leaned over and whispered to Anne and got her immediate response.

“Quick! Name one physical feature of our cashier!”


“Yeah! Mine too. What was your second feature you noticed?”

“She was skinny.”

“Aw, mine was her blond hair.”

We have played this game several other times. The idea is that you get a look at someone, and say the most striking physical feature to you, and see how much you line up with other people. “Purple mu-mu! Beard! Bald!” Just an interesting game of observing.

Another similar game that one of my friends helped me make up is the “Leader of the Pack” as we called it. What one does, is when seeing a group of people, usually 4-7 in size, you look for the relationship dynamics. The following is a list of characteristics that I have picked up observing people and being part of these same groups. Granted there may be some overlap of personas or even your own disagreement with my classifications.

1) The Alpha Wolf. The leader of the group that all of the members look up to and follow their ideas. This person is usually the joining friend among the other members, the one that brought them all together. When walking, typically close to front center, though there may be other members in front of them. The Alpha wolf is also typically the spokesperson for the group, deciding what the group thinks on an issue.

2) The Beta Wolf. This is the second in command. When the Alpha Wolf doesn't want to make a decision, or is absent from the group at that time, the Beta Wolf will fill that leadership role. Usually closer to the front than back, but not as forward as Alpha.

3) The Silent Leader. The silent leader is one that doesn't quite fit the roll as the Alpha Wolf, as they are not as charismatic. They will often be slightly apart from the group in the fore part of the pack, guiding the groups progress along their course. Turn here, go around that log to the left, all minor decisions that need to be initiated by some person.

4) The Follower. The Follower is just that; one who follows. They are a member of the pack that goes along with the flow, wherever they are led, even if it isn't a place they'd normally go. Usually on the sides or rear of the group.

5) The Independent. The independent is harder to spot than the other characteristics. This is a person that appears like a follower, going with the flow of the group, but able to separate from the group with ease. This person can mesh with almost any group of people, with a flexible personality that doesn't overstep the bounds that the Alpha and Beta wolves set up.

6) The Jester. The Jester is usually the one you notice first from a distance. They are loud and telling jokes or stories. They are the amiable people that everyone likes. They are usually found in the middle of the group, where all members can easily hear.

These are just some of the main ones that I've noticed. Feel free to expand on the ideas, add your own, or tell where you think you fall. I think that I personally am a mix between the Silent Leader and the Follower, depending on the situation for whichever has more dominance.

No comments: