In the last byte, we looked at the concept of servant leadership. In today's byte, we begin our discussion on the role of followers.
The way we are generally thought to distinguish any two segments is by strict compartmentalization. In this context, we distinguish the two roles - leadership and followership as being completely separate from one another! But it is important to understand that this is just a view and as individuals in real world we could be doing both these two roles not just at different times but also at the same time!
The traditional view of followership is generally one where the followers are passive, but in the contemporary setting the follower’s role is an active one with a potential for leadership! This could also be interpreted in some forms as special case of leadership: self-leadership; where the follower assumes responsibility for influencing his or her own performance.
In such cases, the emphasis is on his or her own responsibility and self-control. Being self-lead would mean that the self-leader would perform motivating task with ease, but they would also need to do finish work that is not naturally motivating.
Self-leadership would also help followers to be disciplined and effective; and in fact this forms the first essential steps for an individual to become a leader.
Organizationally, one could use programs like - empowerment, self-managed work teams etc to encourage and activate the follower's role.