Being a good follower

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5 Ways Being a Good Follower Makes You a Better Leader


“she” – Barbara Kellerman,leadership lecturer at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, author of Followership: How Followers are Creating Change and Changing Leaders.

“he” – Ronald E. Riggio,, associate dean of the faculty at the Kravis Leadership Institute at Claremont McKenna College

“Here are five skills you learn as a good follower that make you a better leader.

AWARENESS. … Being a follower teaches you how to be aware of the needs of other people as well as their potential to ‘make my life hell from one second to the next,’ she says. …

DIPLOMACY … Good followers learn how to get along with those who have differences while not ignoring those differences. … a leader or manager can’t afford to be oblivious to the attitudes of those around him or her, Kellerman says.

COURAGE. … ‘Being a good follower … means paying attention. It means having the courage to speak up when something’s wrong and it means having the energy and activism to support a leader or manager who’s doing things wisely and well,’ she says.

COLLABORATION. … Today, leaders may be evaluated not only by how much is produced or achieved, but by the quality of the team or organization and its members,’ he says.

CRITICAL THINKING. … ‘Many of the same qualities that we admire in leaders–competence, motivation, intelligence–are the same qualities that we want in the very best followers. Moreover, leaders, regardless of their level, also need to follow,’ he says.”


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