Great Leaders, Great Followers

Do we follow to be led?

Almost 12 months ago I was stepping into the differences between leadership and management.  That’s only really half of the scenario. What about the people you’re leading, the people you’re trying to guide, maybe even transform?  Do they/we have some kind of onus or accountability to the equation? Or are the best leaders the one who can overcome any inter-personal obstacle?

At present, I’m really not too sure.  But I did really enjoy reading 10 Ways to be a Great Follower – some of the points really resonated with me. Mainly around the being an optimist and embracing change – too often I’ve come to interact with those who do not see any glint of hope in what they’re doing.  Grown adults sulking and delivering the silent treatment to managers, colleagues and friends: only to wonder why (very loudly in some cases) why nothing is changing or improving.

If you’re not enjoying what you’re doing, or if something is frustrating you beyond belief, I think it’s so important to try and take the steps to over come it.  Too often I see people spiral into a negative charge that snow balls out of control.  I use to be quite the same: you get caught up in the anger because its easier and less confronting, but you never achieve a thing. Not a fucking thing.  If you’re not willing to try to achieve anything; then wanting to achieve it will bring you no closer.

In saying so, maybe today I’ve learned that to be a good leader you need to make these things apparent: don’t hide from the feedback and concerns of those around you; but rather embrace them as you would embrace them being led.

Maybe the qualities of great leaders and great supporters aren’t so different?

By providing a platform of understanding and embrace, you’re doing a large part of what you can to be led, and likewise, a large part of what you can to lead.

What do you think?

Jye Smith is currently Senior Vice President, Head of Strategy & Operations, Asia Pacific at Weber Shandwick. Ranked in B&Ts 30 Under 30, Jye a regular keynote speaker and workshop facilitator who specialises in digital and social media strategist.

There are 5 comments for this article
  1. Edward Harran at 1:06 pm

    Maybe the qualities of great leaders and great supporters aren’t so different?

    I agree Jye.

    Think holistically and realise followership and leadership intricately tied together.

    Leaders listen. Followers listen.
    Leaders are humble. Followers are humble.
    Leaders inspire. Followers are inspired.

    Good followers become good leaders.
    Good leaders never stop following.

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  3. Jye Author at 9:15 am

    Ed, you put things much better than I! Thanks so much for your comments.

    Mandi: that’s all you need to do. Thanks so much

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