In case you haven’t been told, Leadership is a big deal. Regardless of where you find yourself, the high point of both personal, professional, and career success is in becoming a leader in that field. Hence, lot of persons desire and work towards getting to that height. Those who get there eventually are celebrated. For the rest that didn’t make it, an entirely different thought is given to them.
I’m sure you are aware of the “Leaders of Tomorrow” saying, and probably hope that saying refers to you. In reality, no one ever starts today and becomes a leader tomorrow. Even if the title “manager,” “director,” or “vice president” is attached to your name, it doesn’t make you a leader in the real sense. There are processes that need to be undergone before one can become a leader; the starting point is being a good follower.
If you truly desire good leadership, then your attention and preoccupation must turn from leadership in itself to being a good follower.
3 Reasons Why You Should Learn To Follow
- Followership Is A Key Component To Leadership
Leaders are not meant to be superior to their followers. Due to that, followers are not meant to be inferior to their leaders. There is no exclusive information or knowledge that is reserved for leaders alone; leaders do not live in a world of their own. They are human beings with flaws same as their followers.
Followership has real value. Yet when seminars are called on Followership, very few persons respond to it. You tend to ask why. The answer is because of the lack of respect and importance attached to that skill, and also because people who excel in followership are not appreciated. Followership has a bond with leadership that is not breakable, yet we neither notice nor appreciate it. We fail to mention that the reason we have great leaders is that we have great followers.
- You Can’t Succeed With Leadership Skills Alone
Everyone who intends to create a high-performing organization must avoid demonizing followers.
The following was written by an organizational development specialist, Brian Rook in a 2016 post for the Association for Talent Development,
“Just as we have effective and ineffective approaches to leadership, we have effective and ineffective approaches to followership. Just that concept alone indicates that followership is not reactive or simply assigned. Rather, it is a position selected by those individuals who pledge their followership through a project, job role, group goal, or other shared desire for an outcome.”
The fact that both depend on each other matter a lot. There is no automatic placeholder for the follower or the leader. So nothing says one is better than the other in cognitive, social, or emotional intelligence skills.
- The Best Followers Make The Best Leaders
If you are in the position to recommend people for effective leadership, please recommend that individual that has been a great follower. For when one has become a good follower, the individual learns how to consider people’s opinion, consider their inputs and also work with emotional intelligence. One who hasn’t been an excellent follower cares less about other people’s need or even thinks of asking for their opinion. They have the tendency to consider employees are being under them and as people meant to serve them and provide their need.
Those who don’t value followership won’t value others too because for them, they are leaders and it is a privilege for you to work with them. It is those who have value and regard for followership that get to become the best of leaders. The reason why the best followers will eventually turn out as best leaders are because they consider their follower’s equal humans too with minds, thoughts, ideas, and talents of their own.
Good followers have the ability to view others as leaders in their own way, and this helps you know what to do when eventually one becomes in charge of any team. The purpose of leadership is not to have people around you cater for your need. It is about finding out the potential of your team and then doing your best to maximize these potentials as you seek to achieve a common goal.