Being a 'Follower' is an Under-Appreciated Role

Throughout our personal and professional journeys, we are told to ‘Be a Leader’. We are instructed on how to be a leader, how to lead effectively, how to communicate as a leader, listening skills of a leader, transformational leadership, servant leadership, transactional leadership, leadership interactions, safety leadership…the list goes on and on.

Fact is, effective leadership is a vital piece of a successful organization, but only focusing on leadership allows us to miss a fruitful opportunity. We rarely, if ever, discuss the positive impact ‘followers’ have on change initiatives and behavior. Whether it be an informal leader in a workgroup or the first layer of followers/adopters, these individuals should not be overlooked. They should be embraced. In most cases, their impact is truly undervalued.

Improvement initiatives facilitated by RUKCO, groups designated as ‘followers’ are receive specific deliberate attention during strategic planning and performance measured during implementations. Their influence is a major contributor in motivating others to break away from comfort zones and into desired change. They carry key communication and validation functions with the masses. They are a critical component of a successful implementation.

Derek Sivers provides a humorous, yet effective, example of how followers can motivate behavioral change.