Discovering Followership ~ The Neglected Secret of Getting Ahead in Life

A lot more focus is placed on leading in comparison to following. Just think about it, how many followership seminars have you attended recently? Get the idea?

More seminars and conferences on leadership are held every year in comparison to followership because it is widely acknowledged that the growth of an organization is tied to its leadership. John Maxwell says in his book – 21 irrefutable Laws of Leadership that “Everything rises and falls on Leadership.” [1]

This is true as the role of leadership cannot be over emphasized. However most successful leaders were not born that way, they developed leadership skills in the process of effectively following others. Lt Col Sharon M. Latour and Lt Col Vicki J. Rast both of the United States Airforce (USAF) made the following statements in an article titled Dynamic Followership, Prerequisite for Effective Leadership.

They write,

“Developing dynamic followership is a discipline. It is jointly an art and  a science requiring skill  and  conceptualization of roles in innovative ways—one  perhaps more essential to mission success than leader development. Without followership, a leader at any level will fail to produce effective institutions. Valuing followers and  their development is the first  step  toward cultivating effective transformational leaders.[2]”

I agree with  this  completely as it is in effective followership that  great leadership is developed. While it is true that  not all followers make great leaders, great leaders need good, mature followers to be successful.

Can  you  imagine Moses without Joshua, Elijah without Elisha, Saul  without David? Joshua, Elisha and David were leaders who  at one  time had  the responsibility of being followers or assistants to great leaders who  blazed the trail  in their spheres of influence.

Moses was  a trail  blazer, he wrote the Mosaic Law under the influence of the Holy Spirit, Elijah was  one of the greatest prophets of his time, Saul  was  the first  king  of Israel and  yet we see that  in terms of accomplishments, their “followers” Joshua, Elisha and  David accomplished even more than they  did. Effective, progressive and  mature followers who  have mastered the skill  of followership end up becoming great leaders themselves.

Now thats true talk……

Except from my book ~ Discovering Followership- The Neglected Secret of Getting Ahead in Life.


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