Excerpt: Followership is Relationship

I am excited that the development of the book is moving forward, and while I can’t share the entire work with you yet, I am enjoying the opportunity to provide you with a new excerpt from time to time to encourage your thinking about followership.

Last time, I shared with you that one of the core behaviors associated with excellent followership is simply participating in whatever your group or organization is doing. Today, I want to steer you towards one of the defining aspects of followership: followership is relationship.

I share these words at the very end of the book:

Talking about followership is talking about people and relationship… I believe that if we each sought…to participate, steward, honor, submit, and ‘be’ right in our attitudes and intentional about our growth–then our offices, teams, workgroups, committees, churches, clubs, associations, and organizations could be taken to new places of cooperative achievement and mutually affirming, personally satisfying collaboration. In short, by following with excellence we could experience much more of the value of human community and relationship.

Followership is the complement to leadership; it’s an inherently relational dynamic between at least two people, and usually many more as our fellow followers are also a significant part of our journey. Organizations and associations are paradigms for thinking about relationships, the gathering of people together in pursuit of a common purpose.

Thinking about our own followership means thinking about our connection with others, both the obligations and the opportunities that we have to contribute, communicate, encourage, guide, and respond.

When we explore followership, we’re not just talking about a role, or a function, or a job description. We’re talking about people. We’re talking about relationship.


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