Leadership and Followers

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Followers plan an active role in the process of leadership. By being a follower, it does not mean that one is inferior to a leader, but that they simply play a different role. Webster's dictionary defines follow as to come or occur after, but it does not necessarily imply a causal relationship with what goes before. A follower is part of the team. A quarterback cannot win the game without the efforts of the entire team. He can throw or run the ball but without his team members blocking, he will not make the touch down. Much like a game, team players are imperative to the success of the organization. There are five different types of followers as stated by Frisina (2005) in the article Learn to Lead by Following. The types of followers Frisina identified include "yes people", sheep, survivors, alienated followers, and effective followers. "Yes people" are those followers that always agree to what the leader is saying. As Wojcicki (2001) wrote in his article, A Role for Followers in These Extraordinary Times, followers must give leaders the time and freedom to develop plans of action. John Kennedy said though, that our role as followers is sometimes only to consent. After the plan is in motion, or an order is given, the role of the employee is to carry out the plan, not argue the strategy. Being a "yes person" means that there is never any disagreement between a leader and a follower. Sometimes a follower might have a better idea and thinks outside the box. A good leader should take the initiative to listen to him/her. Creativity and unorthodox ideas could be the new success for the organization.

Leaders may need "yes people" to carry out certain tasks, but the majority of leaders would rather have an honest opinion when asking for it. "Sheep people" are those types of followers who never have an opinion. They follow the "herd" and never stray. Even if they feel that something is not right, they tend to follow and never state that there...
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