Lead, Follow or GTFO

While in most teams things change too slowly, we want things to change as fast as possible.


So what do you do if you disagree with… anything really? Could be the colour of the wall or the way we write code.

Well you have three options:

  • Lead the way in changing/improving the current way

  • Follow & support the current way

  • Get the fuck out

This blog explains the Lead, Follow or GTFO value really well so please read it (or re-read it as it's so good) before continuing.

It’s not that we want people not to speak up. It’s the exact opposite. We want them to speak up and lead the way in improving any or all aspects of our team.

But, this is necessary at the stage we are at, as otherwise, our whole day would be filled by conversations on how we can improve non-important things. So:

  • We want them to do it for important things - things that matter enough to them

  • We do not want to have “back-benchers” in our team, people who disagree with a lot of things but do not lead the change.



Why would you want to disagree with something but not want to lead the change?

  • It’s not important enough → Best option is to follow existing process

  • You don’t care enough for the team →  Best option is GTFO

  • You are not sure if its important enough / don’t know enough → Best option is to learn more about it and make a more educated decision if you want to lead, follow or GTFO


Lead the change does not mean doing all the work. It means investing enough of your energy/time to understand all aspects of the topic in depth and create a plan of action - even one in which other people have to do the majority of the work.

Following is rarely the most attractive option, but following has a lot of benefits. It allows you to better understand the situation from a perspective you are potentially missing and also become better at leading the way in the future.


You can disagree with anything and lead the way in changing/improving it even on your first day at work. That’s really cool.

But you will be expected to lead the change. And that’s challenging. Or awesome if you like challenges.