The Importance of Followership

The importance of followership is easily forgotten in our often self-absorbed perspectives.

We focus is on how to become a leader, not a follower.

A focus on leadership is understandable. A leader role should have a little more spotlight and attention because they are representative of a group.

However, the pure lack of any spotlight at all on followership is very disproportionate.

The extreme fixation on leadership alone bypasses a key principle.

You become a better leader when you being a better follower.

Followership helps you become a better leader:

  1. It helps you to understand what good leadership looks like and what it feels like. As you work closely with other leaders you first hand get to experience the effects their judgments, decisions, and words have on you. First hand, shows you what you do like and don’t like. You’re able to take your personal twist from the experience you’ve had.
  2. In organizations, “leadership is not just done by the leader, and followership is not just done by followers.” This perspective suggests that leadership and followership do not operate on one continuum, with one decreasing while the other increases. Rather, each dimension exists as a discrete dimension, albeit with some shared competencies.
  3. At some point, everyone needs to be able to take instruction and follow. Even as a leader you will run into times when you need to take on the role of a follower.

Followership is an active component of leadership. If you’re in a follower role right now, grow and try to master it.

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