“A Hero the World Needs V.S. A Hero that Needs the World”

Tito Mazzucchi

English 3 - Air Stream


November 2, 2016

“A Hero the World Needs V.S. A Hero that Needs the World”

The United States has always glorified official leaders throughout their history. It is almost as if a culture developed where now, people praise the personification of their beliefs. Celebrities, popular activists, organizers; these individuals are all people which are listened to by the masses. Like a beacon, whatever it is that they stand for attracts and unifies the public. This, while it is an overall positive thing, many times it could also be what gets people carried away. More credit is given to the leaders than to all the followers which together create change. Now that does not mean that leaders do not deserve anything, but what it is saying is that sometimes it is easier to follow a single source by directing all the attention as one idea rather than attempting to trace out every participant of a movement. When looking back, people remember those who stood out the most in history, they often forget what the true cause of change was.

A prime example in the history of the United States where followers truly did create an impact, is the Vietnam Anti-War protest. According to SFASU professor Mark Barringer, the two major anti-war protests at Washington D.C. both had hundreds of thousands of participants, with the second one reaching an “estimated 500,000 protesters.” Leading to the major protest, other examples of follower impact are the thousands of letters that were written to Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, regarding the topic of alternative service for those who opposed violence. This ties directly with the fact that the United States relies all-so-much on the followers of movements. In a country designed to give people the right to voice their beliefs and opinions, it is not surprising that the more something is talked about, the higher of a priority or sense of urgency it’s given. In this event, if there was only one person that contained in them the passion of 500,000 people, chances are that nothing would have been done about the war. On the other hand, if instead of having a single person, there are 500,000 individuals that all have the passion equal to one person, the magnitude of the voice is much greater.

Regarding movements that changed a nation, one which really does highlight the impact that followers have is The Women’s Rights Movement. From 1848 all the way to 1920, people worked together to try and have female representation in the government. What is key in this movement is the fact that it contained all of the elements that are a part of the leader-follower interaction. An essay by the Office of the Historian, in collaboration with the Clerk of the House's Office of Art and Archive, described in detail various elements that took part of the movement. It involved leaders, the very first being Elizabeth Cady and Stanton Lucretia Mott. They organized the Seneca Falls Convention. The movement also included followers, although the first meeting only had 100 people attending, the number grew much larger as the topic escalated. Eventually this evolved until it changed the constitution and impacted the politics of the United States for the years to come. In this movement, leaders such as Stanton Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady show how attention and credit can always be traced back to the first people which take a stand for their beliefs. It also highlights how leaders do attract an increasing number of followers. In the end though, what really was the deciding factor in the movement, like many others throughout the history of the world, was the followers that backed the idea.

With all the problems that are occurring every day, it is important that people knew how to go by solving them, and that they don’t have to lead alone. Ever since the age of fairy tales, humans are taught stories about individuals like heroes. This conditioning of a child’s mind makes him or her believe things like “Robin Hood saved Nottingham,” Rather than him AND his merry men. As people grow, they apply what they learned. Everyone always talks about a hero that this world needs, when it has always actually been about a hero needing the world. To whatever social problem there may be, humans just need to realize that if they take a stand together, anything can be accomplished.

Works Cited

Source #1 Link: https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/faculty-research/books/psychology-leadership-new-approaches

By. "The Psychology of Leadership: New Approaches." Stanford Graduate School of Business. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Oct. 2016.

I found this when looking for research papers. It is credible because stanford.edu published it. It made me realize that this topic is very layered to the point where books were written about it. I need to remember that there are many elements to this and be careful in the route that I choose to inspect.

Source #2 Link:


Kellerman, Barbara. "Followership." How Followers Are Creating Change and Changing Leaders (n.d.): 1-239. Print.

I found this source while searching: Leadership vs Followership. I believe this to be credible because it seems well written and also the domain is a .ca. It made me reflect on the fact that a leader is not just some all-perfect person that is superior to a follower, but that followers need leaders and leaders need followers. That they go hand in hand and only work when they are together.

Source #3 Link:


Kellerman, Barbara. "How Followers Are Creating Change and Changing Leaders." Harvard Business Press (2008): n. pag. Print.

I found this source when I was looking for scholarly articles on google. This is credible because it is a .edu domain. This is another thing which made me reflect on how the relationship between leaders and followers works. I may want to change my question to better fit the follower representation.

Source #4 Link:


Chaleff, Ronald E. Riggio Ira, Jean Lipman Blumen, and James MacGregor Burns. "The Art of Followership." A Warren Bennis Book (n.d.): n. pag. Print.

I found this source while looking more into the topic of the relationship between leaders and followers. I think it is credible because it is a large-project-document that has MANY other sources. This made me think about doing a different thesis/question regarding a type of switch in saying like “followers are just as good as leaders” or “Why can’t followers get credit?” I may want to advocate against the idea that being a follower is a bad thing. Maybe I could look into potential cultural elements and factors that influence this general opinion.

(Additional) Source #5 Link:


By the Beginning of 1965, the. "The Anti-War Movement in the United States." The Anti-War Movement in the United States. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Oct. 2016.

The Vietnam War Protests.

(Additional) Source #6 Link: http://history.house.gov/Exhibitions-and-Publications/WIC/Historical-Essays/No-Lady/Womens-Rights/

By 1890, Seeking to Capitalize on Their Newfound. "The Women's Rights Movement, 1848–1920 | US House of Representatives: History, Art & Archives." The Women's Rights Movement, 1848-1920. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Oct. 2016.

Women’s Rights .

Comments (3)

Gil Rosen (Student 2018)
Gil Rosen

This expanded my thinking because it showed me that the United States like to over glorify leaders throughout history. Now that I see that the United States likes to do that, I can now look at the way the United States like to say about their leaders and what they say in general.

Gil Rosen (Student 2018)
Gil Rosen

This expanded my thinking because it showed me that the United States like to over glorify leaders throughout history. Now that I see that the United States likes to do that, I can now look at the way the United States like to say about their leaders and what they say in general.

Pablo Salvatierra (Student 2018)
Pablo Salvatierra

I wholeheartedly agree with the final conclusions you drew from this 2fer. Before reading it, I was of the belief that the masses make movement, but I had never before truly considered in detail the need a hero has for the masses, not just the other way around. I actually wish you had referenced a time someone tried to do something without the support of the masses, and no matter how great the person, was unable to succeed. To more specifically address the idea of heroes needing the world, but maybe that's my own preference and I am asking you to change your thesis. Overall, good job!