A Personal Perspective: Personal Reflections on Followership and Leadership Janice Newsome
April 2, 2014
I will discuss personal follower and leader interactions with two individuals that I have worked with over the last five to seven years. I selected these individuals because of my relationship with them and their leadership capabilities. Secondly, I admire and model after both of them. Finally, I selected these individuals because they believe in me and have invested in my professional and personal development. I will discuss their leadership style in context with course materials and illustrate how I am able to be an effective follower under their leadership. I will also discuss the leadership qualities that make them highly effective leaders. A Personal Perspective: Personal Reflections on Followership and Leadership Trust is the most important factor in most relationships, professional and personal. It is very easy to follow someone that you trust, even when there are differences of opinion. I have worked under the leadership of two dynamic leaders for the last five to seven years. The first is my boss, Karen Schrock, President & CEO of Adult Well-Being Services. The second individual I selected is my Pastor, James Minnick. I selected Karen and James because of my relationship with them. They are both highly effective leaders that I admire for their ability to lead under pressure, manage difficult people and situations, accomplish what needs to be accomplish and remain positive. They believe in me and have invested in my professional and personal development.
I strongly concur with the statement leaders are only as good as the people who follow (Johnson, 2011). Bjudstads defines followership as the ability to effectively follow the directives and support the efforts of a leader to maximize the organization (Bjudstad, 2006). An effective follower is one who is enthusiastic, self-reliant, and fulfills their duties with enthusiasm (Kelly, 1998). Courageous, honesty, credibility, competence, and focus are also qualities of a good follower. It is easy to follow when you are lead by leaders who are competent, passionate, exhibit compassion, and are able to communicate the vision, goals and objectives.
I have worked with Karen for seven years, first as her Administrative Assistant and now as the Manager of Executive Office Operations and Stapleton Operations. I worked as a project manager with my previous employer and the skills I developed in that position enabled me to transition to the position of Administrative Assistant for the President & CEO of an organization with ease. They refer to us as the dynamic duo because we work so well together. Karen is very organized, a detailed planner, and clearly communicates her expectations. I am very organized and a detailed planner. We meet at the beginning of each week. We both prepare a list of priorities (often they contain the same items). We differ in communication style. I prefer emails. She prefers face to face or phone communication. A good follower adapts to the style of the leader when necessary. So, I’ve adapted my style somewhat. When managing contacts for her, I will make the call or contact in person. Leaders and followers have to be flexible. I am able to approach her and discuss my view when we disagree because of our relationship and her leadership style. She always takes the time to make sure I understand even high level decisions. She shares information so that I am able to make better decisions and work more effectively as a follower. I follow her because I trust that she has my best interest, as well as the best interest of the organization, in her perspective as she leads us. Another quality that allows me to be an effective follower is Karen allows me to do my work. I cannot imagine how frustrating it is to be micromanaged. I don’t require a lot of supervision. I know her...
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