A brief interlude in our ‘Followership View of Servant Leadership‘ series….
I’ve lived in Wales for 7 years (as of last week!); my daughter was born here, but I’ve dabbled only very lightly in the Welsh language (Croeso! Bore da! Diolch yn fawr!)*. However, I recently began to explore the culture a bit more by beginning to read a classic collection of Welsh myths and folktales entitled The Mabinogion.
In my consideration of followership, I am well-aware of the cross-cultural realities that make leadership and followership look differently in various global contexts; I dedicate Chapter 10 of my book to touching on these truths in hopes that we might all be able to set appropriate expectations and practices as we lead and follow across diverse ethnicities, worldviews, and communication styles.
Despite the importance of the differences, I love it when there are universal truths and wisdom that emerge, sound practices and perspectives relevant across time, space, and scenario. Continue reading “Be a Bridge”
Continuing our reading of Robert Greenleaf’s classic work, from a followership perspective…
After a brief but encouraging introduction (my reflection here), we head into the first (lengthy) chapter of the main body of Servant Leadership: A Journey into the Nature of Legitimate Power and Greatness. Continue reading “A Followership View of Servant Leadership: Ch 1-A”
While blog posts are valuable for presenting ideas and helping to create perspective, ultimately one’s journey of excellent followership and personal growth is best served by having concrete opportunities for growing in self-awareness and then making an effort to “self-revelate”—to share with others (your peers & superiors) who you are, what you value, what you have to offer.
Resources for individual reflection and group conversation are one way to facilitate those occasions for self-discovery and self-disclosure. Continue reading “New Free Resource: Enneagram Profile”
In our previous two posts, we looked at trust and clarity as two essential aims that a distance leader can undertake in order to encourage excellent followership among remote followers. For our final exploration in this series, we consider feedback. Continue reading “Enhancing Excellent Followership as a Distance Leader: Part 3 (feedback)”
At the heart of excellent followership is relationship—with one’s leader and with one’s peers. And at the heart of relationship is communication.
If we’re going to follow well, if we’re going to contribute well, we have participate in—and contribute toward—a positive communication environment.
The challenge comes in that each member of a group will tend to have personal preferences that define what it means for them to engage in a positive, satisfying dialogue. Continue reading “New Free Resource: Satisfying Communication”
I’ve seen a few article headlines recently that some employers are recalling their distance (or stay-at-home) employees and bringing them back into the office space. Are we finding that separation isn’t so convenient and effective after all? What about when it’s unavoidable? Continue reading “Does Distance Leadership Beget Virtual Followership?”
Whenever we pursue a topic that is primarily relational–and the leadership-followership dynamic is one such topic–there are a number of attributes that we must consider. Communication and trust are two central facets of relationship. But another, and more commonly overlooked, aspect that must be explored is honor. Continue reading “Dishonor Among These”
Question: do your followers have a seat at the table? Is their potential for contribution being inhibited by always receiving their information through your personal filters? Are the gaps in your perspective leaving out relevant details, dismissing valuable courses of action, and leading to missed opportunities to anticipate needs and take next steps? Continue reading “Leadership Lesson for Encouraging Excellent Followership #3”
One of the most prominent struggles when it comes to addressing the idea of followership is the notion of identity.
Our culture has persuaded us that being identified as a follower is a curse of resignation to the powers that be, locked into a doleful and unremarkable existence of conformity and lacking conviction.
In 2009, singer/band Bon Jovi released a song that would go on to be nominated for a Grammy. It is titled “We Weren’t Born to Follow” (lyrics; video). Ostensibly about “working people picking themselves up by their bootstraps in hard times,” reading the lyrics and viewing the music video imagery would seem to portray a more definitive viewpoint about the idea of following. Continue reading ““We weren’t born to follow”?”
A King born in a stable. This season of Advent, leading up to the climax of Christmas, highlights for us the unfathomable surprise to be found in the marriage of majesty and the mundane.
There are few more poignant depictions of humility in Western culture than to behold a monarch being birthed in a manger.
Humility–and its accompanying virtues of submission and honor–are foundational concepts for us as we think about following with excellence. Insisting that you are superior when compared to your peers or superiors will quickly close off many opportunities for your contribution and influence.
For me, humility and unity go hand-in-hand, but there is a bit of a chicken-and-egg conundrum here. Continue reading “Humility or Unity: Which Comes First?”