Authentic Followership

The pursuit of leadership goes beyond achieving a social media mantle with thousands of doting sycophants as followers. Without authentic followership, there’s no leadership.

Very little has been published about ‘followership.’ This study highlights some key findings: Link

*The article suggests that being a follower is the “default setting in our brain.”

*There are powerful motives supporting followership, chief among them the need to belong.

*Leaders stand apart and pay a social price for their power. Those who seek positions of strong leadership pay for power with a loss of social affiliation.

*The study also notes that certain characteristics establish a hierarchy. Compared with leaders, followers seem to have less physical stature and less capacity in sociability, agreeableness, and competence.

*The game theory references are interesting. I won’t spill the beans here since that portion goes beyond general platitudes.

Learning about authentic followership is worthy of your time. It’s hard to separate leaders from followers in organizations requiring everyone to wear many hats. Followers are becoming tech leaders fast in Silicon Valley by upping their skillsets. The Indian CEO phenomenon is a good example: Link

To me, followership is really about being coachable as a team player regardless of the organizational hierarchy.