Sunday, February 24, 2013

Good Leaders Need Good Followers

I had the wonderful experience of teaching a Customer Service class, to students trying to learn phlebotomy, and the topic of leaders and followers came up. I had explained to the class that to be able to be a good, credible leader they need good followers to carry out their vision. One student objected saying that she thought the word follower was derogatory to people by considering them less than leaders. So here’s what I explained;
·         Leaders can hold any position in an organization-A leader is someone that expresses a vision so that it can be completed and made a reality. Leaders do not have to be people in management. They can hold any position in a company. These are people with ideas, mantras, or expectations and act on these.
·         Good followers are necessary-As leaders create an idea, create a mantra, or communicate expectations it has to be done with charisma, a firm voice or plan, backing by management, and good followers to complete their vision. All a good follower means is there need to be people willing to listen to leaders and willingly execute the task, mission, and expectation at hand.
·         People willing to follow-The reason the term follower is not derogatory is because there are those working in organizations willing to be a good follower. Professionals are more than willing to arrive to work daily and complete any task given to them, follow processes, or fulfill expectations at a very high quality. These people have no interest in being a leader because they like completing tasks for the betterment of the department, branch, or organization.
·         Followers can become leaders-Anyone interested in leading can do so. Please realize that if this path is chosen you have to be comfortable that it will be expected consistently. This is where committing to leadership roles needs to occur. The organization isn’t wrong for expecting workers to lead consistently if done once. As long as the person is comfortable with these expectations than they should be the best leader possible.
Review top notch companies and you’ll find leaders existing in many parts of the organization holding a variety of positions. This helps the organization become stable, extends its life expectancy, and helps it grow and evolve, and become a good community partner.

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