Site icon HSCT Publishing, LLC

How Do You Develop Good Followership?

Good Followership is Hard to Find

There is little good (or even mediocre) advice revealed through an Internet search on the topic of how to be a good follower.

And when the anemic advice is revealed that is there, it mostly focuses on how to engage in practices that are the mirror image of how one should perform to be a good follower.

But while the relationship between followers and leaders is built on trust, the inherent posture a follower must have toward a leader is one of vulnerability.

Not a word—or concept—anyone with a bend toward leadership, or followership, really likes.

To be successful at being vulnerable, there has to be a relationship between people that is beyond transactional.

This is a hard sell to leaders who’d rather not be empathetic, and to followers who’d rather not have a relationship with a leader that goes anywhere beyond a measurable transaction.

Good Followership Requires Sacrifice

Then, there is the issue of ego.

Leaders and followers have egos.

That is, self-regard wrapped in self-serving language and narcissistic emotion to justify behaviors that may not be beneficial for the self or others.

That’s not the textbook definition of ego, but if you just read that out loud, you get the drift.

Egos—leaders and followers alike—lead to pride.

And pride leads to willful blindness to situations, circumstances, and solutions. It also leads a person away from humility in a subordinate position, and toward arrogance.

And when ego and the necessity of vulnerability and empathy meet at crossroads in the human heart, it is easy for leaders and followers alike to make ego-drive choices.

Such choices can lead to conflict, disagreement, disputes, and eventually dysfunction on the team.

All because of ego.

Good Followership Requires Submission

The last word that blocks thinking about what it means to be a good follower, is the word submission.

This word is loaded up with all types of meaning—sexual to religious—and when it’s said out loud, it is usually whispered, or mentioned cautiously.

The fact is though, in order to have a group of people to lead, they must be willing and able to consciously and with autonomy and free choice, submit to the rule—or the authority—of either someone or something, else.

Followers will submit to the leadership of those in authority at a higher level in the hierarchy than they are.

Or, followers will rebel against such submission, perceiving a lack of legitimacy in the claim to authority from the leader.

By the way, this rebellion, or submission, occurs in the emotions first and then is backed up by verbalized, rational excuse-making.

However, in order to be a good follower, a person must be willing to perform four, critical actions:

This is not the type of advice you’re going to find in an Internet search of “how to be a good follower.”

But it is the truthful advice that is relevant to being a successful follower.

This is why this advice doesn’t appear in any Internet search.

Leaders need to engage in the “meat” of leadership, rather than continuing to serve the pablum of “milk” to their followers about what exactly is required of them emotionally, psychologically, and materially.

Before asking, or demanding, people join the team.

BlogLeadershipManagementOrganizational DevelopmentWorkplace
August 18, 2022

Leadership Lessons From The Great Books

Leaders are readers, at the end of the day. And leaders are also listeners, and critical thinkers and they are intentional actors on the world stage. And it doesn’t much…
LeadershipManagementOrganizational DevelopmentStrategyWorkplace
June 21, 2022

How Do You Develop Good Followership?

Good Followership is Hard to Find There is little good (or even mediocre) advice revealed through an Internet search on the topic of how to be a good follower. And…
BlogLeadershipOrganizational DevelopmentRemoteStrategyWorkplace
August 19, 2021

Mandating Leadership

Mandating policies without careful consideration of other options isn't leadership. It is really sophisticated followership.
Exit mobile version
Skip to toolbar