The Greek statesman Solon stated, “He who has learned how to obey will know how to command.” Approximately 250 years later, the Greek philosopher Aristotle asserted the converse of that statement when he said, “He who has never learned to obey cannot be a good commander.” The concept of following seems to have been an important idea in ancient Greek times, but why is this idea of being a good follower important to today’s military leader? In order to be a truly effective leader, one must first learn to be a truly effective follower. Learning to be an effective follower is a required facet of effective leadership because we follow others at times, we learn by following, and we develop future leaders by following. The thought that we must follow others at times revolves around two concepts (one relatively obvious, one not so obvious). The relatively obvious concept is the notion that we all have a boss and therefore will be required to follow another person at some point. Buchanan supports this idea when he says, “Every level of the organization reports to someone.” Squad leaders report to platoon sergeants; company commanders report to battalion commanders; brigade commanders report to division commanders; the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff reports to the President; even the President reports to the American people. Buchanan goes on to assert that effective followers are not simply “yes men” but instead “challenge the boss when necessary and share their opinions, even if they might be viewed as controversial.” The concept that is not so obvious is the fact that we are not always the expert. Our knowledge on a particular topic may be limited or even non-existent. In those cases, we must learn to step aside and “... ... middle of paper ... ...dy Bailey, “A Good Leader Knows How, When to Follow,” The Tennessean, http://www.tennessean.com/article/20131020/BUSINESS/310200077/Andy-Bailey-good-leader-knows-how-when-follow?nclick_check=1 (accessed February 28, 2014). U.S. Department of the Army, Army Leadership, Army Field Manual 6-22 (Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Army, October 12, 2006), pp. Christine W. Zust, “The Best Leaders Know When to Follow,” available from www.zustco.com/cz_articles/leaders_know_when_to_follow.pdf (accessed February 28, 2014). Raymond W. Cox III, Gregory K. Plagens, and Keba Sylla, “The Leadership-followership Dynamic: Making the Choice to Follow,” International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences 5, no. 8 (December 2010): 46, Academic Search Complete, http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=73343622&site=ehost-live (accessed March 1, 2014).
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysShow More
Küpers, W. (2007). Perspectives on Integrating Leadership and Followership. Retrieved 4 22, 2014, from International Journal of Leadership Studies: http://www.regent.edu/acad/global/publications/ijls/new/vol2iss3/kupers/kupers.htm
Kelley, R.E. (1992). Followership. In Goethals, G.R., Sorenson, G.J. & Burns, J.M. (Eds.). (2008). Encyclopedia of leadership (pp. 504-513). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage
Originally presented in the 1964 article “A contingency model of leadership effectiveness”, Fred Fiedler’s Contingency Theory states that there is no one best managerial style effective for all situations. Rather, effective leadership is attained when leader style and situational forces or aligned. (Fiedler, 1964)
“Leadership, very simple, is about two things 1) truth and trust 2) ceaselessly seeking the former, relentlessly building the latter “
The purpose of this paper is to describe the attributes and competencies of my leader of influence, MSG Anthony Good, and what type of leader legacy I would like to leave behind. I define an Army leader as someone who inspires and influences others to accomplish goals. MSG Good has played a pivotal role in the development of other Soldiers and my own leadership philosophy. He has demonstrated, through actions and words, his values and wisdom. I want to emulate those values and attain that wisdom in my military career. He exemplifies the leader attributes and competencies: character, presence, intellect, leads, develops, and achieves (Headquarters, Department of the Army, 2012). As a Soldier and leader, the attributes and competencies in MSG Good that inspire me the most are his character and
Part 1, The Basics of Leadership, Chapter 1 covers Fundamentals of Leadership while Roles and Relationships are covered in Chapter 2. This section describes and depicts levels of Leadership. We as a military are set apart from other non-military professions in that Soldiers must be prepared to use deadly force and have the courage required to close with and destroy the enemy. All leaders, from non-commissioned officers and warrant officers, to commissioned officers, inherently possess a great responsibility. The repercussions of decisions and actions impact the lives of Soldiers and their families. Additionally, these decisions affect the battlefield environment including enemy and non-combatants, both military and
The Army leader should have identifiable features that soldiers can benefit from. This is how an Army leader must be. He or she should have knowledge in tactics and techniques that show that they can manage resources and organize. All of this entails what an Army leader knows. And the actions that birth the feelings in other soldiers to want to operate in the same manner of that leader is the do.
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.
Some scholars have categorized followers based on their behaviors and roles under different leadership styles. The benign followers serve their leader without questioning their actions, which can have a destructive outcome. If subordinates blindly follow bad leaders, it defines that they lack the insight to distinguish between good and bad leader. While some followers are there to serve their leader 's ego, malevolent followers are seeking opportunities to defeat the leader and take over his role out of greed and envy (Uhl-Bien et al., 2014). The followers play different roles to improve the follower-leader relationship. Some followers play the interactive role by supporting the leader. This role can have a positive or negative impact depending on the leadership. The followers who play the independent role are independent with high level of competency to complement the role of the leader. During the leadership process, the role of the leader and the followers can change depending on the situation, which has been defined as a shifting role. The followers play a key role in the leadership process, which can be very influential and powerful. The followers have to be aware of their leader 's practice and use of power to avoid pitfalls as a result of misuse of power by the leaders. Uhl-Bien et al. (2014), identified four types of leadership
Just as there can not be ‘too many cooks in the kitchen’ a company cannot run solely on leadership. Without followers, leaders would be unable to get the job done. But do companies understand the importance of their followers/workers and are they giving them the respect they deserve? Barbara Kellerman researched the campaign for Audi car company and their campaign slogan `Never Follow.` The ad ran successfully for five years until 2007 the slogan was finally abandoned. It was so successful because it “tapped into a fear rooted deep in the American psyche” (Kellerman, p3). Who wants to be second best? On the other hand, who wants to diminish their own followers? Kellerman noted that North American culture has the perception that “there is no glory in toeing the line” (p.5). Companies are learning that followers deserve a more positive reputation and that followers are an integral part of the team. Why is it then, that little research has been done on followers and followership?