Difference Between Leadership And Followership

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While it may be argued that leadership and followership are merely two sides of the same coin, just as with a coin, there are still differences between the two which can be observed. As any great leader was, at some point in their life, a follower, many of the followership traits can be seen in a leader as well. It stands to reason that a follower has a leader they are following, but it is not as simple as train cars following behind the engine. Followership is an active role which, when successful, enhances the performance and effectiveness of a leader. As Uhl-Bien & Pillai (2007) define it, followership is “deferring to the directives, decisions, or desires of another, thereby giving another higher status and legitimacy in determining the course of events”. To do so in an authentic manner, followership requires truth and integrity. This is valid for both the individual’s beliefs, preferences, and feelings, as well as in commitment to the organization and its leadership.…show more content…
Proper application is also an important aspect to success. Both leaders and followers can be grouped into categories based upon their preferred styles of interaction. For leadership, there are generally three main styles. Transactional leadership focuses on agreements and exchanges to achieve the desired results. Rewards and punishments are used to encourage and motivate. This has a tendency to create obedience through indifferent or reluctant fulfillment. Conversely, the transformational leadership style prefers inspiration, encouragement, and support in order to create intrinsic motivation and enthusiasm. The final leadership style is known as laissez-faire leadership. This is someone who has a title of leader, but does not display most of the traits of one. They often delegate their responsibilities to others or avoid them altogether (Jorge Dias & Borges,
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