Followership: The Forgotten Side of Leadership

Followership really does matter. I think Maya Angelou highlighted this when she said, “Those of us who submitted or surrendered our ideas and dreams and identities to the ‘leaders’ must take back our rights, our identities, our responsibilities.”

Companies seem to be obsessed with leader and leadership development. But what about the followers?  According to the Harvard Business Review, “It’s not only a leader’s personality characteristics that influences relationship quality; a follower’s personality also has a significant influence.”  Click on the link below to read more:

https://hbr.org/2017/09/who-empathizes-with-machiavellian-or-narcissistic-leaders

Developing dynamic followership is a discipline. It’s an art and a science that needs skill and a more innovative conceptualisation of roles. Followership may even be more essential to mission success than leadership development.  Without it a leader at any level will fail to produce effective institutions.

Remember, there are two sides to every coin. And without followership, there’s no leadership. I don’t design or facilitate any leadership development programmes without including it as a topic.  My dream is to run followership programmes as well – in corporates, at universities and in schools.  I think the any good induction should build effective followers. After all, behind every great leader are great followers.

Do you know what it takes to be a great follower?  You should. Why?  Because followers determine the quality of governments who get voted into power, they decide who gets promoted into leadership at work and they decide who becomes a prefect at school.  Most importantly, the right kind of followers hold these leaders unaccountable.  Click on the link below to read more:

http://www.medicalprotection.org/uk/casebook/casebook-may-2013/followership-the-forgotten-part-of-leadership

Make sure you develop your followers too. If you’re stumped on how to do this I can help. Contact Tracy Marais on tgmarais@gmail.com.

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