As you are aware, leadership is a process and not a position. Basic
components of leadership include leader,
followers and situation. A leader is different from other leaders due to his/her
personality, skill set,
exposures, characteristics, expertise, etc. Followers also vary on similar
personal trait basis, while situation
compromise of particular environment, kind of task, pressure and other
situational factors. These all
components play very important role in leadership process. Same leader with
different followers and
situation can have different effect.
Responsibilities of Exemplary Followers: When all components of this
leadership process are in line with
each others and working in collaboration, the results are effectiveness of
outcome. Especially the leader and
followers are dynamic inputs and play very important role is the outcome. There
are some basic
responsibilities from exemplary followers.
_ Support the leader’s
decisions: Followers need to support leader’s decisions. This is true when
leader and followers work like a team and decisions are taken by participative
process. Need for
dialogue before important decisions are very important. Once a decision is taken
by leader than it
becomes every body’s decision. Every body needs to own and support these
_ Challenge the leader:
For a group to be effective and dynamic, team member also challenge the
process, procedures and decisions. They do differ on policies, procedures etc
but not on
personalities. This is good sign for dynamic groups/teams. The follower’s also
challenge the leader
on different issues with in the group/team. They challenge the leader on
decisions and make sure
that all the work is going in the right direction and towards achievement of
goals. This challenging
is for the improvement of decision making and avoiding the group think.
_ Encourage the leader:
The followers always encourage the leaders. Provide full support for
his/her creative ideas. They also support him/her when he/she is under some
support the leader in bad times and encourage him/her to make better decisions.
_ Defend the leader: The
followers also defend their leader in any situation or at the time of needs.
They also defend his/her action, decisions and policies for the achievements of
Exemplary Followers Expect from Leaders: Followers also have certain
leaders. To be followers, people expect certain characteristics in their
leaders. They must be;
_ Honest: Followers
expect leader’s to be an honest person so that he or she can build trusts.
Honesty provide basis for trust building.
_ Forward-looking: Leader
must be a visionary so that he/she can predict the future of the
organization. Anticipate changes and be proactive rather than reactive. Vision
then is based on
two components that leaders also need: creativity and intellectual drive.
_ Inspiring: A leader
should have an inspiring personality. Inspiring for development, inspiring
for better and better.
_ Competent: A leader
should be a competent enough to perform his/her duties and provide the
directions to the team members. They need to be their when others are stuck and
_ Fair-minded: A leader
with fair mind and unbiased personality is always known as a better
leader. For good leader, every member of the team is equal for him/her. The
difference, if any,
is due to performance and commitment with team mission.
• Work to increase the variety and
complexity of assignments
• Seek to enhance their skill sets
• Share the credit
• Never undermine their authority
• Mentor followers who hope to assume larger leadership
• Encourage and enhance dialogue
• Keep their confidences
• Empower them
• Acknowledge their value, both publicly and privately
• Reward them in ways they find meaningful
• Trust your followers
Let us discuss these strategies one by one;
_ Work to increase the
variety and complexity of assignments they receive: As leader you
have to assign the some critical task so that he or she will be able to generate
some creative or
productive output. Diverse work experience is always good and more expose leader
different and complex environments/assignment the more mature will merge in
Same is true for followers. Followers can be given chances through job rotation
them complex and challenging tasks.
_ Seek to enhance their skill
sets: Leader provides the chance to enhance their skills through
training. Training and development is a continue process and leaders always try
to enhance skill
sets of their employees.
_ Share the credit: Good
leaders always share the credit of achievement. They share with the
followers and give credit to their team members. This approach not only creates
trust but also
boosts moral of team members and also act as motivational factor.
_ Never undermine their
authority: As leader you should not demoralize them or challenge
their authority. Followers are also very important as leaders themselves.
_ Mentor followers who hope
to assume larger leadership roles: The followers are always
looking for the role model within the group and try to copy him in different
need to act as mentor for followers and build them as leaders for the future.
_ Encourage and enhance
dialogue: A leader should encourage the followers to keep the
communication channels open and enhance the dialogue for batter group decision
_ Keep their confidences:
Leader should take the followers in confidence for taking any
decision so that they feel themselves more confident. They should be encouraged
to take risks.
_ Empower them: a leader
should empower his/her followers so that they will feel more open
and do not hesitate to take any decision. By taking risk, they will learn and
Empowerment is required for quick decisions by those people who are most
about the issues. The reality that organizational downsizing has left managers
with larger spans
of control and in order to cope, managers are turning to employee empowerment.
_ Acknowledge their value,
both publicly and privately: A leader should always recognize the
work done by the follower’s part openly. This will create a motivational culture
for other and
ultimately a long run benefit for the organization.
_ Reward them in ways they
find meaningful: there should be a reward system within the
group after achieving the goals. It will also create the motivation in the
employees. Nothing is
free in the world and we need to understand this while deciding rewards. These
be meaningful and must be linked with performance.
_ Trust your followers:
Trust is the belief in the integrity, character, and ability of a leader. We
have already explained concept of trust. Without trust of followers, leaders can
well in the organization. Leader must have trust on his/her followers.
In today’s dynamic environment, empowering followers/team member is
important to boost their moral and
for better decisions. This is also very important for creativity.
A leader must give people (followers/team members) discretion and autonomy and
important. Give people
visibility and provide recognition for their efforts. It is the responsibility
of leader to build relationships
with team members, connecting them with powerful people for learning and their
What Followers Want:
Leader Traits That Influence the Leadership Process:
_ Personality is
defined as a combination of psychological traits that describes a person.
Personality of leader play important role.
_ Position is defined
that one can influence on the group member or in the organization
_ Experience is defied as
an exposure that he or she have in his field of expertise.
Leaders to be Colleagues to be