Understanding the difference between management and leadership is crucial for managing in the 21st century. Why should you be concerned about this? Because the days of top-down mechanistic (industrial age) management are long over. Great organizations recognize that horizontal organizational orientations are crucial for 5 operating in the 21st century. This means a recognition of the importance of followers. Power of Learning recognizes that effective leaders know what it is to be an effective follower. Leading today requires a shift from great man to great collaborator thinking; therefore, learning the tenets of leadership and followership is recommended. Whether on the job, in social clubs, churches, etc. we are leaders in some situations and followers in other. To think of leaders without followers is like thinking of teachers without students. By recognizing the importance of followership at every level of the organization, a culture of courage, power, integrity, responsibility, accountability, and sense of service emerges. Key areas to probe include:
✓ How followers can effectively support a leader and relieve pressure – ego driven vs. ego strength.
✓ How does a follower become a part of the process instead of simply an implementer?
✓ How does a follower contribute to leadership development rather than become a critic of leadership failing?
Effective organizations recognize followers as the life of the organization, not as docile conformists. The goal for organizations should be to develop followers’ ability to provide courageous support of leaders. Contrarily, management personnel should receive leadership education that recognizes followers as a rich source of ideas and key leverage point for organizational change.