The leader is the guy we all think we are going to be. He (or she) is the swashbuckling, charismatic, “come with me if you want to live” guy. The one who always goes into the “abandoned” house first. The guy who kills the kid after he’s been bit when everybody else is saying they should give him a chance, just to see if he is immune. The leader decides which mythical zombie-free land the rest of the group will seek out. Cause there’s always a mythical land. Amusement park. Farm. Island. Boat. Whatever. It’s there, somewhere just beyond the next rise, and the leader is going to find it.
Everybody wants to be the leader. Everybody wants to star in their own zombie flick. We all assume we are the important ones, the guy who is going to save humanity, get the girl, and repopulate the species. But here’s the thing, you probably aren’t, and you probably don’t want to be.
The thing about being a leader is somebody has to follow you. When you draw that line in the sand, somebody has to cross it. Otherwise, you’re just another loner. And besides, how long do you think you’re gonna last anyway? How many times can you kick down that door before somebody bites off your leg? How many times can you be the guy who stays back to hold off the horde while the others escape before you don’t make it out? The leader is living on borrowed time. Notice all those pictures? What do they have in common? They’re all leaders, and they’re all dead.*
*OK, technically Rick is still alive . . . for now.