The Difference Between Leadership and Followership

Topics: Jim Jones, Leadership, Charismatic authority Pages: 2 (752 words) Published: February 13, 2012
Explain the difference between followership and leadership
As you have all learned from leadership classes, all leaders are followers, but not all followers are leaders. One of the biggest differences that separate leaders from followers is the fact that many leaders have charisma. Many followers have charisma, although it may be stifled because they are not in a proper position to utilize it. Charisma, by my own definition, is the compelling attractiveness or charm that enables you to influence large numbers of people. Charismatic leaders use their charm to accomplish large tasks that may seem impossible for the typical leader. Charismatic leaders set goals that they know will be difficult for their followers to achieve. Therefore, they expect much from their followers and show confidence in their follower’s ability to rise to the level of expectation. Because charisma is not restricted by morals or ethics, it can be used to both benefit society and to destroy it. This is why some of history’s more charismatic leaders are also symbols of destruction and evil. One of the most famous examples of charisma used for destruction is Jim Jones. Jim Jones was the founder and leader of a cult called the Peoples Temple, which is best known for the November 18, 1978 mass suicide of 914 members in Jonestown. The mass suicide consisted of Jim Jones having his followers knowingly drink cyanide-laced Kool-Aid. Not only was he able to accomplish this act, but he had the audacity to trick his followers on multiple occasions with practice runs for the mass suicide. A quote by Deborah Layton confirms this fact: "Everyone, including the children, was told to line up. As we passed through the line, we were given a small glass of red liquid to drink. We were told that the liquid contained poison and that we would die within 45 minutes. We all did as we were told. When the time came when we should have dropped dead, Jones explained that the poison was not real and that we had just...
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