While many people have waxed philosophically about leadership, fewer have highlighted the value of followership. There can sometimes be a negative connotation, a “lesser than”, even a stigma attached to followership; but the truth is there shouldn’t be. If you want to be an effective leader, you have to know how to be a good follower. The value of followership lies in the pillars that uphold it: the personal character and integrity of the follower.
Followership is the ability to take direction well and be a team player. It is the ability to engage a solid work ethic founded on motivation and diligence. It is the ability to exercise good judgment while remaining adaptable when making choices and decisions that affect an organization or company. It is operating as a proactive critical thinker who is competently committed to the mission of the business.
“Good followership is best described by the outcome of the leader-follower relationship. The successful outcome is one where an employee deliberately executes and, ideally, enhances the vision of the leader.”
~ from Followership: A Valuable Skill No One Teaches by Sandra Slager
Effective followers are not robots or sheep who blindly carry out tasks without thought or care. They are people who provide leaders with the support they need to be successful. Without effective followership, business goals often go unmet, growth opportunities are missed, the quality of the products and services offered tends to decrease, and clients or customers can be lost. Followership is key when it comes to organizational success.
What traits do you demonstrate as a good follower?