Ref. No. 1209/42-512
In the name of Allah the most Gracious the most Merciful
The answer to your question is as follows:
(1) Unity is necessary for the success of any organization or movement. And for this, it is necessary to have a leader of the same so that there would be no disorder.
(2) Mutual consultation in important matters has been a practice of the Prophet and his Companions which leads to blessings in this world and the Hereafter. There are several evidences for the legitimacy of the council system. وشاورھم فی الامر فاذا عزمت فتوکل علی اللہ (آل عمران 159) (And consult them in the affairs, then when you have taken a decision, put your trust in Allah, certainly, Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him). ﴿)
وامرھم شوری بینھم (الشوری 38).
1: A person practicing consultation can never fail, nor can he ever attain any good by giving up consultation. (Qurtubi)
2: He who practices Istikharah never fails and he who consults never gets ashamed.
(al-Mujamul Awsat li-Tabarani whose name is Muhammad 6/365 Hadith No. 6627)
3: conferring protects a man against embarrassment and it is a means to escape reproach. (Adabud-Dunya wad-Deen Fasle Salis in the consultation 1/300)
4: It is reported by Hazrat Abu Hurairah (ra) that I never saw anyone keener on consulting with his companions than the prophet (saws). (Tirmizi 1/301 No. 1714)
(3) The criterion of following a group is not its being big or small or majority or minority. Rather the beliefs and ideologies of the group should be in accordance with the Qur'an and Sunnah. The people associated with the group must be on the path of the Prophet (saws) and his companions as he described such a group in a Hadith which means “The salvation is destined exclusively for those who follow the path of mine and my companions.”
And Allah knows best
Darul Uloom Waqf Deoband