definition of followership

Administrative Expert and Creative Writer

Leadership is perhaps the most discussed issue in the corporate world. But, what makes a good leader? Undoubtedly, it is the followers who make a leader successful. Therefore, followership is equally essential to make any teamwork effective. But unfortunately, people rarely discuss followership. If you are interested in leadership and followership don’t skip this blog. Here we will give you a clear idea about the definition of followership and the qualities of a good follower.

Definition of followership

In simple words, followership is simply the ability to follow the leader effectively. But it doesn’t mean following the leader blindly. Effective followers know their roles and responsibilities and support the organization to achieve its goal by performing their duties properly. Therefore, followership means working under the direction of a leader but still having the ability to execute the organization’s vision within the framework of personal accountabilities.

According to Townsend and Gebhart, “Followership can be defined as a process in which subordinates recognise their responsibility to comply with the orders of leaders and take appropriate action consistent with the situation to carry out those orders to the best of their ability” (source).

To make the long story short, Followership is the readiness to work under a leader in the pursuit of a common goal while displaying a high level of cooperation and teamwork. In that case, the followers are also capable of getting things done in a way that helps in the achievement of the common goal.

Qualities of a good follower

Can it be possible to become a leader without followers? Of course not. The followers make the leader effective. Also, to be an effective leader, you must first learn to be a good follower. Here are the seventeen (17) qualities of a good follower –

followership

1. Enthusiastic

A good follower always shows intense eagerness to achieve a common goal by working under A good follower always shows intense eagerness to achieve a common goal by working under the direction of their leader. They enjoy teamwork and love to help their coworkers. Their keenness towards the goal also encourages other employees.

2. Good behavior

Good followers demonstrate good behaviour to their co-workers. They do not show resentment towards their colleagues, even in stressful situations. People see them with a smiley face most of the time. They are helpful; they do even more than they are asked. Moreover, they share the credit of their accomplishment with their co-workers. Also, they always avoid office politics and do not gossip at work.

3. Understandability

A good follower does not follow his leader blindly. They have a clear idea about their roles and responsibilities to achieve organizational goals. Therefore, they try to align their work with the vision of the company. Also, they can understand the instruction of their leader quickly. So, it becomes easy for the leader to delegate tasks.

4. Loyal

Effective followers not only work for their salary, but they also care about the company’s success. Furthermore, they prioritize the company’s interests more than their own, and they are constantly working to improve themselves and their position. They also innovate new ideas and are ready to work beyond their own responsibilities.

5. Take initiatives

It is true that good followers abide by their leader. But they also take new initiatives. They carefully study their job and the work of their co-workers, and then they can perform what is required of them without being instructed. They are able to appraise a situation and take action on their own to solve it. But in that case, they must consult or inform their leader.

6. Active listener

Active listening is an integral part of followership because it helps both the leader and the followers to understand each other. It enables the followers in understanding the objective of the suggestions and guidelines given by the leader. Therefore, it has become easier for the followers to implement their leader’s strategy and thoughts.

7. Competent

A good follower has the necessary ability, knowledge, or skill to perform their assigned tasks successfully. The leader can rely on them when they assign them any task. Furthermore, they are not only skilled and experienced in certain areas, but also they are energetic, motivated, and hopeful towards the company vision.

8. Team player

followership

As good team players, they have strong communication collaboration skills. A good follower gives priority to the common goal over their personal goal. They are helpful, cooperative, and good communicators. Thus, a good follower plays a significant role to achieve the company goal by collaborating with others.

9. Accountable

At work, accountability means each person should accept responsibility for the tasks assigned to them. A good follower is always accountable for his or her actions and the results of those actions. They do not blame others or the management for any failure. Furthermore, they are ready to accept responsibility and even move beyond their self-interest to perform that.

10. Continuous learner

Good followers always aim to make themselves competent at work. Therefore, they learn continuously. They do not confine themselves only within the basic knowledge of their work. Instead, they want to be the best at what they are doing. They learn from the experience, their leaders, and their co-workers.

11. Helpful

“If you want to find yourself, lose yourself in the service of others” – by Mahmoud Abdul Rauf (quoted from brproud). All the good followers do the same. They are dedicated to their companies, jobs, families, and others. Moreover, they are ready to help their company, colleagues, and leaders in any circumstances. 

12. Master of their own work

A good follower does not wait for the follow-up. They sincerely perform their tasks within the deadline. They are motivated, enthusiastic, and ready to go beyond their comfort area to accomplish the tasks assigned to them. Therefore, they earn the trust and confidence of their leader.

13. Candor

A good follower is brave enough to provide his or her feedback in a constructive way. They are A good follower is brave enough to provide his or her feedback in a constructive way. They are friendly and open with their co-workers. It is one of the essential elements to make a workplace effective. According to Carlos Brito, CEO of InBev“honest feedback about performance becomes a ‘lost art’ in many corporate environments in favor of coddling and conflict workarounds.”

14. Creative

Creativity is the process of generating new ideas and implementing them in the best possible manner. Good followers are creative. People who are creative continuously ask questions and look for new solutions. They take guidance from their leaders and innovate the best ways to implement these ideas. 

15. Insightful

A good follower has the capacity to ask appropriate questions and develop unique ways of seeing and thinking about everyday things. They possess the ability to advance new viewpoints, which sets the tone for subsequent success.

16. Communicative

Keeping regular communication with the leaders helps them to understand the progress. If the subordinated regularly updates the progress of their work to the leader, the leader can understand if everything is going according to the plan. A good follower is also able to communicate their outcome properly, so they evaluate properly by the management.

17. Cheerful

The ability to smile even in hardship and make things a bit brighter for everyone results from the choice and desire to keep an even-tempered temperament no matter what.

Conclusion

Followership means following a leader at work but not blindly. An effective follower knows his role clearly and takes guidance from his leader to play this role effectively. Effective followership is very essential to make a leader successful. But, most of the time one importance of followership remains unsung. In this blog, we tried to explain the definition of followership and the qualities of a good follower. Hope it will help you at your work.

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