Just a follower


As we know, being more assertive or decisive doesn’t guarantee being a good leader – neither does admitting one’s limitation, but it is a start!

There is also no such thing as being just a follower.

Good leaders – the ones who emerge as humble, even selfless, clear and capable of organizing others around a common interest/goal –  create good followers – the ones who are empowered to serve a common interest/goal, while exercising their own leadership with others.

Leadership and followership require intentionality, trust and commitment. They should function in integration like an eco-system: creating an interconnected movement where each part is necessary to the other one, helping to regulate and enrich it, with no judgment attached.

Am I too liberal and dreamy?

Anyway, no aspect of the mechanics should be taken for granted or under-valued.

Reflective questions: Do you exercise leadership? Do you exercise followership? Both? None? What do you notice about the relationship between the two?


Just a follower

2 Responses

  1. Thank you Carole for another wonderful cartoon and message. So current!
    Many years ago, when I was first placed in a supervisory position, I only knew the tell mode of leading and, of course, to my frustration if I didn’t tell them – over and over again – they did not do it! Later, I realized that facilitating self-discovery, actually supporting followers to think for themselves, was the key to self-motivated employees.

    My business partner and I are about to start a movement for Conscious Women Leaders. Once I understood that the role of the leader is to facilitate discussion between the participants, we were all in!

    Aimee Lyndon-Adams May 17, 2017 at 9:56 am #
  2. After giving it some thought, it is not so clear what the major differences are between a good leader and a good follower. Carole, I agree there is definitely a symbiotic give and take. What I think are the common traits for both is the ability to listen, have a preoccupation about the team vs self, ability to communicate clearly, hold colleagues accountable, and create a safe space for feedback, ideas, and risk taking.

    For me personally, when warranted, good leaders are generous with praise and share the credit as well.

    As for me, I try to keep this in mind but often throw it all out when I am at the mercy of sensitive deadlines or high level demands.

    Bill May 18, 2017 at 6:04 am #

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