One clear message in the book Embracing Followership: How to Thrive in a Leader-Centric Culture is the importance of relationship. All group endeavors require, in order to be successful, a healthy dynamic between leaders and followers as well as among fellow followers.
The production of any quality book requires a variety of input, perspectives, and expertise. One of the primary voices involved in working with me to produce Embracing Followership was my senior editor at Kirkdale Press, Rebecca Brant.
Rebecca took some time to reflect on her experience of working with me and the personal impact of the ideas contained within the book.
Q1. Rebecca, you worked on Embracing Followership for 9 months or so as the senior editor. Can you give us an editor’s take on what you’ve read? How would you describe the book’s tone and style? What sort of readers do you think it will appeal to?
A1. From an editor’s perspective, we knew from the beginning that the Embracing Followership manuscript would be a great addition to the Kirkdale line, a title that would appeal to a broad range of readers. Although it’s geared toward those in non-management positions, we knew it would appeal to mangers/leaders as well. Good leaders want their followers to grow and excel; what better way to help them than to understand the issues they face?
Q2. How about personal impact? As you worked through the manuscript, have there been any encouragements or insights that you feel have struck you and stuck with you? Have you observed the value of any of the followership principles from the book in your own life or workplace?
A2. As a reader, I felt validated in my belief that I don’t need to be in charge to have influence on my peers or on my leaders. Your discussion of leading up (helping your leader) and leading from behind struck me as opportunities we often miss. The section on making a commitment to support your leader or move on can be applied to many aspects of life outside the office. The best work/relationships/conversations take place when you’re fully committed to that endeavor and that moment.
Q3. The topic of followership is still somewhat new in organizational leadership and personal development circles. What impact do you see for Embracing Followership as a contribution to this growing field of thought and exploration?
A3. As I worked through the manuscript, I realized I have thought about followership without thinking of it in those terms. I want to do my best in every effort I undertake. But the level of detail you go into—especially in terms of relationships between followers and leaders—gave me greater insights into how I can support those around me.
Q4. Any memorable moments or fun interactions in working with me, author Allen Hamlin Jr, on this project? Any insights into who I am as a person?
A4. It was fun to keep a conversation going through our exchange of comments throughout the editing process. I enjoyed the give and take. Not all authors engage that way, and even fewer do so with a great sense of humor. I enjoyed seeing that sense of humor woven throughout the manuscript as well. Whether we are leaders or followers, we are people first, and a good collaboration allows for that.
Q5. Final thoughts? What encouragement do you have for those that are anticipating reading Embracing Followership now that it’s been released?
A5. I trust that readers will find themselves both validated and renewed, ready to pursue their work as an expression of their gifts and talents and not as tasks on a checklist. I would encourage them to read a chapter at a time with their primary workplace in mind, making notes as situations or opportunities come to mind so they can put new practices into action. Several offices I’ve been in over the years have had annual retreats—some based on projects for the coming year, others based on teamwork or a relevant text. I think Embracing Followership would be an excellent basis for such a retreat and would provide a common vocabulary for future collaborations.
Rebecca Brant is an award-winning writer, editor, and content consultant in the Bellingham, Washington, area. She specializes in marketing communications, interviews, and nonfiction editing. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can find the fruit of the collaboration between Allen and Rebecca in Embracing Followership: How to Thrive in a Leader-Centric Culture, which was released in February 2016 and is available in soft cover and various eBook editions.
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