Leader-Follower Theory and the Transformational Organization – The Success Coach
exploring the leader-follower relationship in the Irish civil service from leader- follower definitions were merged in this research study since the unit of. Leader-Follower Theory: Meaning and Impact both the leader and his/her followership, they are: effective communication linkages and relationship building . determine if the leader-follower relationship has an affect on the development of leadership .. Job Classifications & Definition of Employees.
The executive made business decisions based upon personal benefits, even if it harmed other people or the company. The executive thought his title of leader entitled him to do as he pleased and, in his mind, he was very much the lead dog.
As my colleague and I discussed this, we determined that If this executive were our leader, we would want him to be the lead dog, so we could watch him like a hawk. In reality, very few of us are the lead dog, and for each time we are in the lead, there are several more times we play the role of follower.
The Meaning & Impact of the Leader-Follower Theory as It Relates to Management & the Workplace
These individuals are the exception, and very few of us possess the qualities these leaders exhibit. Even if we did, still fewer of us find ourselves in a situation where we can exercise those qualities. Yet, the "experts" lead us to believe that we should strive to be like these great leaders. While striving is admirable, reality can get lost. In our society, leaders are glorified and followers are denigrated with unfortunate counterproductive results. During our years as consulting psychology practitioners, we have made five distinct observations concerning the leader-follower relationship.
Only the leader matters - right? Because leadership is greatly overvalued in society and in business, too many individuals and organizations aspire to leadership who should not. Today's society is inclined to place leadership on a pedestal. We are continually reminded of the glory of being number one and the shame of being number two. In sports, only the champion matters. It may even be worse to be the runner up than to not even be in the championship game.
The Buffalo Bills of the early 's were a great football team, having made it to the Super Bowl four consecutive years. However, rather than being remembered as one of the top two teams four years running, they are remembered as the losing team in four consecutive Super Bowls. The media depicts leaders as individuals who take charge and who respond quickly and aggressively in the face of crises. The business community glorifies leadership, while books and training programs abound on the topic of leadership.
According to Brown the year saw 2, books published in the United States alone, on the topic of leadership.
Leader-Follower Theory and the Transformational Organization
A review of municipality mission statements revealed "innovation" clearly a leader and not a follower as one of the most common descriptors contained within those statements. A recent Audi ad captured the glorification of leadership, most bluntly, when it stated, "Never follow. Perhaps they would be content to be followers if it were seen as a more noble position.
We have consulted with numerous leaders who, when honest with themselves, do not wish to be in a leadership role and long for the days when they were the individual contributor, the salesperson or the engineer.
The research on leadership effectiveness is dismal. Numerous studies suggest an effectiveness rating of 25 - 50 percent Hogan, Curphy, and Hogan, A study by consulting firm Development Dimensions International showed little employee confidence in their leaders. Only 38 percent of employees surveyed expressed high confidence in leadership Workforce Management, Many factors contribute to a lack of leadership success; however, if effective following were a more acceptable career path, then fewer leaders would be miscast and thus, substantiate the Peter Principle.
For everyone to try and lead or to innovate is a waste of resources. Innovation requires a significant commitment of time, energy and money. Most individuals and organizations would be best served by letting others, with more capabilities and resources, lead. They then might copy, build upon, or refine the innovation to suit their own particular circumstances. Those municipalities dedicated to innovation only end up wasting scarce resources.
The power of the leader follower relationship
It makes far more sense for those municipalities who have the financial resources and who can hire the "best and the brightest" to provide innovation for other municipalities to follow when appropriate. Followership development is vital. Because followership is greatly undervalued in society and in business, to the detriment of organizational performance, too little attention is placed on the development of strong and capable followers.
Business trends, such as empowerment, flattening organizational structure, self-managed teams and You, Inc. The rapidly evolving business place is forcing us to re-examine the traditional concept of leadership, yet we are slow to catch up with today's demands. Brown states, More than ever, technology is leveling the playing field between leaders and those they lead.
Thanks to the Internet, leaders are no longer the exclusive source of vital information about their companies or fields; therefore they can no longer expect to be followed blindly by their now well-informed, more-skeptical ranks.
Leaders in the Information Age will have to work harder than ever to earn respect and be effective p. Robert Reich agrees, in his book, The Future of Success, by declaring the following: All institutions are flattening into networks of entrepreneurial groups, temporary projects, electronic communities, and coalitions linked to various brands and portals. The Job of Effective Followers The sooner we recognize and accept our powerful position as followers, the sooner we can fully develop responsible, synergistic relationships in our organizations.
According to Chaleff, there are three things we need to understand in order to fully assume responsibility as followers.
Understand our power and how to use it. As followers, we have far more power than we usually acknowledge. We have a unique vantage point as follower or team member, but we have to know that and use it. We need to understand the pressures upon the leader that can wear down creativity, good humor and resolve.
Work toward minimizing the pitfalls of power by helping the leader to remain on track for the long-term common good. We are all witness to how power can corrupt, and it takes courage and skill to speak up. We can learn how to counteract the dark tendency of power. Feedback to the leader is necessary for the new leadership styles to be effective.
The Five Dimensions of Courageous Followership Chaleff identifies and defines what is required of followers to become an equal partner with the leader in fulfilling the purpose of the organization. The Courage to Assume Responsibility — Courageous followers assume responsibility for themselves and the organization.
They do not hold a paternalistic image of the leader or organization, nor do they expect either to provide for their security and growth or give them permission to act.
They initiate values based action. The Courage to Serve — Courageous followers are not afraid of hard work and they assume additional responsibilities to unburden the leader and serve the organization. They are as passionate as the leader in pursuit of the common purpose. The Courage to Challenge — Courageous followers give voice to the discomfort they feel when the behaviors or policies of the leader or group conflict with their sense of what is right.
They are willing to stand up, stand out, to risk rejection and to initiate conflict in order to examine the actions of the leader or group when appropriate.
- The Leader – Follower Partnership: It’s a New Day
- The power of the leader follower relationship
The Courage to Participate in Transformation — Courageous followers champion the need for change and stay with the leader and group while they mutually struggle with the difficulty of real change. They examine their own need for transformation and become full participants in the change process as appropriate. The Courage to Take Moral Action — Courageous followers know when it is time to take a stand that is different from the leaders.
This may involve personal risk but service to the common purpose justifies and sometimes demands such action. Another View Robert E. As organizational structures flatten, the quality of those who follow will become more and more important. They manage themselves well: The key to being effective as a follower is paradoxically the ability to think for oneself.
Followers also see themselves as equals to the leader they follow. They are committed to a higher purpose: From this vantage point, the leader is in a better position to communicate and provide the followership guidance as they followers set about addressing and finding their own solutions to critical problems. Indeed, when followers are empowered to formulate, regulate, and initiate adaptive change, buy-in that influences an effective leader-follower exchange is more abundant then when the leader alone is relegated to offer a solution.
Hence, social identity theory goes to the heart of relationship building and effective communication linkages that must exist between leaders-followers and followers-followers. As followers become integrated in groups they form group identities, a sense of competitiveness towards other groups, and the need to actively influence desired outcomes.
As they gain influence and staying power group members establish agendas, achieve collective goals, and gain group power.
The Leader – Follower Partnership: It’s a New Day
Thus the group establishes its own leadership prowess that can be used to challenge or support their respective leader.
An interesting corollary is established through the work of Kellermanwho categorizes followers as isolates, bystanders, participants, activists, and diehards p. Isolates are individuals who are completely detached; they could care less about the organization, their peers, or their leader. Their involvement in the organization is strictly self-fulfilling — the receipt of a paycheck.