The concept of followership

We need more examples. If you got 'em, they can be shared by using the form below. Consider how effectively the Airman utilizes resources to accomplish the mission. Consider personal adherence and enforcement of fitness standards, dress and personal appearance, customs and courtesies, and professional conduct.

The concept of followership

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Written by Mitch McCrimmon The concept of followership is popular in certain quarters today. Others refuse to call employees followers, feeling that such a label is disengaging. What do you think? There are some strong arguments for followership, which claim that we can't understand leadership without it.

The Case For Followership No one can lead without followers, any more than we can eat without eating something. Similarly, we can't sell a product without a buyer. Leading, eating and selling are relational concepts. They imply an object of some sort.

You can no doubt think of many others. You can only love a thing, another person or your life. You can't love nothing. You can only hit something, drink something or influence another person. Influencing, leading and selling are all impacts on other people.

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Impact is itself a relational word, but clearly, falling objects can have an impact on other objects, like when you drop a book on your glasses, so being relational doesn't necessarily imply a relationship between people.

Still, this line of thinking strongly suggests that there can be no leaders without followers. Another argument that is often offered in support of followership is that people need to work much more closely today to get things done.

The world is too complex for one person to sit on high and issue one-way orders to people to get work done. There needs to be two-way dialogue. Defining Leadership We can define leadership as the act of influencing people to change direction, either by example or by advocating a better way.

Similarly, selling is the act of influencing people to buy a product or service. In both cases, we are defining something in terms of one person's impact on other people. Hence, it is impossible to claim that you are leading if no one is following.

The Case Against Followership Do you believe that it is possible to show leadership bottom-up? Say, a front-line employee develops a new product idea and convinces management to adopt it.

Is this not leadership?What is personal effectiveness? It can't just be achieving our goals because we could do so in a very wasteful, time consuming or sloppy way. How about making best use of our time and all other personal resources at our disposal?

No leader can achieve greatness alone; thus followers displaying followership qualities are needed. “Developing dynamic followership is a discipline. It is jointly an art and a science requiring skill and conceptualization of roles in innovative ways—one perhaps more essential to mission success than leader development.

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The concept of followership

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