Followership: A Prerequisite for Budding Leaders

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image showing how leadership and followership are interconnected

Society has always taught us that an important characteristic to have is leadership. Being a good leader is a factor that great achievers must have. This will help you grow as a professional person in the professional world. Leadership is also an important element needed for having a successful company. This is what we are told since we are very little. And leaders are praised and looked up to by everyone everywhere. However, this is not everything, there is more to it.

As an example, having two people with strong leader personalities is not always positive. Sometimes, these two people might have a different perception which will make them compete. Even though, competence is good sometimes, it is not always beneficial for the company. Two strong leadership figures that oppose might give different directions and lead the group to confusion. This is where Followership comes to the equation. Followership is an important partner of leadership. In this article, we will focus on that idea.

What is Followership?

image defining the term followership

Followership is the counterpart of leadership. This involves all the individuals that fall under the direction of a leadership figure. They are the people that follow orders, directions and teachings. Even, a leader can be a follower at some point. We take alternative roles depending on the context. This means that we might take the leader’s role at home while we are followers at work. This is quite normal. But how important is followership? Well, we will discuss that just now. You could also check here for more information.

Importance of Followership

image explaining the importance of followership

As it was mentioned before, we are taught that we need to be leaders in order to be successful. But the reality is that, statistically, there are more followers than leaders. Hence, we all cannot be leaders in the same context. Can you imagine a company where all the employees are leaders? Who manages?, Who directs? and Who makes the important calls? It would be a chaos if this scenario actually occurred.

Furthermore, we know that leaders lead, direct, and make the big calls. But the followers are the ones who actually execute those directions and orders. This is why followership is as important as leadership. Some authors, like the one in this article, say that followership is even more important. A bad leader won’t direct very well and will have managing problems. The same happens with a bad follower. There are some important elements to consider in order to be a good follower. Let us, then, talk about such elements. You can also check this book for more details on the importance of followership.

Elements of a Good Follower

image highlighting the elements of a good follower

Just as a good leader, a good follower must present some characteristics. Some of the most important ones are the following:

1. Judgment

It is very important to make the difference between an order that you do not agree with, and an order that is just wrong. You need to be able to judge which the case. This will certainly help you make the best call to carry out the job in the best way possible. Judgment is also very important for leaders. A leader with good judgment will avoid putting their followers in this position. Some authors say that having a good judgment as a follower gives you chances of turning into a leader.

2. Ethic

Having ethic means that, as an employee, you work hard, are diligent, do your job the best way you can, and you commit to taking responsibility for your failures.

3. Aptitude

A great follower is capable of executing the orders that are placed before them. Prepare yourself for the job you are in charge of. Being competent in your field gives you reliability as an important asset. But being competent in other fields makes you irreplaceable. This is also true for good leaders. Good leaders do not stop learning and acquiring new skills. Apply this to your life and you see how it pays off.

4. Being Honest

It seems obvious, but as people say: Honesty is the best policy. Show your leaders that you have nothing to hide and talk to them frankly. This will make them trust you and come to you when they need an honest opinion. This also means that you will be thought as an important element in the company and a trustworthy employee. Also, being an honest leader will help your subordinates trust your decisions. Because of this, they will try their best to carry out your directions.

5. Show Courage

Along with humbleness, courage will help you know when the right moment to talk to your leaders is, especially if you disagree with them at some point. When complaining, also give a solution to the problem. For doing this, you will need courage, for being able to stand up, and humbleness so they do not think that you are stepping out of your line. Also, people will always follow a brave leader. It makes him charismatic and more appealing to being followed.

6. Loyalty

This does not mean that you will praise your leaders and follow them blindly. It just refers to embrace your responsibilities and obligations towards your job and your superiors. When loyalty comes from the leader as well, a great team is formed. This will certainly benefit the company as a whole.

7. Humbleness

Here, we will talk about the fact that the ego might sometimes affect us negatively. We need to know how to control it by being humble. Achieve this and you will avoid any issues with other strong egos in your work environment, including your leader. This is crucially important to remember when you receive recognition for a job well done. Believe it or not, being good at what you do sometimes make people resent you. Keeping it humble is the best policy in those cases.


It is now very clear that followership is just as important as leadership. But do not believe just me, this amazing book also says it so. There is no good leader if there aren’t any good followers. And as we could see, being a good follower also helps you become a great leader. They come hand in hand; as it is established in this book. If you have any other characteristic of a good follower or how to become one, please share with us in the comments section below.

Related Article: Leadership; Why Do I need to be Concerned?

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