My reality for several years has been “to be a good leader you must be a good follower.” This reality can also be yours especially if you are an aspiring leader.
In many instances while poor leadership sometimes triggers poor followership, followers and subordinates must be very particular about their behavior.
A follower cannot behave recklessly by undermining and failing to support the leader and at the same time think he can or will be a good leader. Surely, the old saying “what goes around comes back around” will haunt his leadership. In fact, he will be reminded by his followers of his own acts of disloyalty toward his leader, setting the stage for weakened leadership.
Followers who ridicule, abuse and seek to embarrass the leader will often be overlooked as being capable of becoming an effective leader. If however, a follower demonstrates loyalty and support, it is often the case that provisions will be made for him to progress as a leader.
Being a good follower does not mean you are gullible or subservient by any means. It requires performing your duties to the best of your ability in a manner which allows the leader to fulfill his objectives. It is a supportive function which may go unnoticed at times but ultimately strengthens your own values in preparation for your leadership opportunity when it comes.
An effective or good follower must therefore be creative, thoughtful, respectful, reliable, trustworthy, hardworking, supportive and loyal, sometimes in the midst of mistrustfulness.
Next time you are in a followership role always remember, TO BE A GOOD LEADER YOU MUST BE A GOOD FOLLOWER.
This also applies to those persons who having achieved a first or masters degree, no longer feel obligated to follow the department head, the Superintendent of Police who does not want follow the Commissioner of Police, the private soldier who does not want to follow the Corporal and Sergeant, the church member who does not want to follow the Pastor etc.