In our exploration of followership, we have oftentimes addressed the aspect of identity: followership is not merely an occupation, but a deeper part of who we are and what we have to offer.
Having a firm grasp on one’s identity is extremely valuable; being able to clearly answer the question “Who am I?” provides an important resource for participating with excellence and making your necessary contributions.
But there is an additional question to address. Continue reading “Significance: From Potential to Participation”
The notion of servant leadership has been en vogue in recent decades, fueled in part by Robert Greenleaf publishing his classic text in 1977. Given our cultural fascination with leadership, and our desire to imbue the concept of leadership with as many positive qualities as possible (see, “Leader: the ideal human being?“), it’s not surprising that the combination of leadership and servanthood became a popular notion.
As the idea of followership continues to be explored in more recent years, it’s worthwhile to consider how excellent followership and servant leadership are the same or different. Are they simply two perspectives on the same characteristics? Or is there an important distinction that should be part of our consideration? Continue reading “Servant Leadership & Excellent Followership”
When looking at an office environment or a community committee, it may sometimes be difficult to appreciate the necessity and the interplay between leader and follower roles. But in the world of dance, it’s unmistakable. Continue reading “Leader & Follower: It Takes Two to Tango”
I’ve spent most of my career up to this point in strictly a followership role, without any formal position of leadership. In that time, I don’t think I ever found myself saying of my leaders, “You guys don’t know how good you’ve got it; your role is so easy compared to mine.”
Having more recently stepped into a leadership role, I can now verify the degree of challenge and burden which I expect many leaders face.
But does that mean that leadership is harder than followership? Continue reading “Lead or Follow: which is easier?”
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”?”