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The Courageous Follower. Dynamics of The Leader-Follower Relation . Questions to Consider . How does a follower effectively support a leader and relieve pressures? How does a follower become a shaper rather than simply an implementer?

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the courageous follower

The Courageous Follower

Dynamics of The Leader-Follower Relation

questions to consider
Questions to Consider
  • How does a follower effectively support a leader and relieve pressures?
  • How does a follower become a shaper rather than simply an implementer?
  • How does a follower contribute to leadership development rather than become a critic of leadership failings?
resistance t o being a follower
Resistance to Being “A Follower”
  • Cultural bias towards leaders
  • Confusion between follower as personality type and follower as role
  • Desire for egalitarianism
  • Lack of positive models of followership
  • Must understand their own power and how to use it.
  • Must appreciate the value of leaders and cherish the critical contributions they make.
  • Understand the seductiveness and pitfalls of the power of leadership.
a dynamic model of followership
A Dynamic Model of Followership
  • Balances and supports dynamic leadership
  • Embraces rather than rejects the identity of follower because the model speaks to our
    • Courage
    • Power
    • Integrity
    • Responsibility
    • Sense of Service
courageous followership
Courageous Followership
  • Built on the foundation of courageous relationship.
    • Courage to be right, be wrong, or to be different from each other.
    • Danger in the leader-follower model is the assumption that the leader’s interpretation must dominate.
    • Stay true to own light while helping leaders follow theirs.
  • How do you establish and maintain a true relationship with a leader?
purpose not person
Purpose Not Person
  • Followers & leaders both orbit around the purpose.
  • Without purpose, leaders and followers only pursue their perceived self-interest, not their common interest.
  • Shared values validate the purpose and how it will be achieved.
the paradox of followership
The Paradox of Followership
  • Responsible for own actions.
  • Share responsibility for the actions of those whom we can influence.
  • Followers are accountable for their leaders.
    • Support & help correct actions.
what creates partnership
What Creates Partnership?
  • Shared Purpose
  • Competence
  • Support
  • Trust
  • Courage
  • Constructive Confrontation
why do leaders need partners
Why Do Leaders Need Partners?
  • Visibility & pressures intensify as a leader rises
  • Flaws magnify as a leader rises
  • A Leader’s Actions have greater impact
johari s window











Johari’s Window

Unknown to Self

Known to Self

Known to Others

Not Known to Others

Developed by Joseph Luft

& Harry Ingham

who does a follower serve
Who Does a Follower Serve?
  • Shares a common purpose with the leader
  • Believes in what the organization is trying to accomplish
  • Wants both the leader and the organization to succeed
  • Is a steward of the resources an organization
loyalty of a follower
Loyalty of a Follower
  • To the purpose of the organization and to helping each other (leader and follower) stay true to that purpose.
power in the relationship
Power in the Relationship
  • Power that resides entirely on the leader is not good for the follower or the leader.
  • Followers do not think for themselves & fail to take appropriate actions.
  • Critical for follower to connect with their power and learn how to use it.
value of the follower
Value of the Follower
  • Interdependent with not dependent on the leader
  • Self motivated not leader motivated
  • How well does the follower help the leader & organization pursue their common purpose within the context of their values.
followership styles
Followership Styles

High Support



High Constructive Challenge

Low Constructive Challenge



Low Support

courage of the follower
Courage of the Follower
  • Willingness to consciously raise the level of risk.
  • Honest dialogue creates vitality.
  • Willing to ask questions without fear.
  • Sources of courage?
  • Develop the courage muscle.
balance through relationship
Balance through Relationship
  • Leaders are the flame that ignites action.
  • Followers are the guarantors of the beneficial use of that power.
  • Followers provide balance if they can stand up to leaders. Two essential elements of relationship:
    • Develop Trust
    • Use that trust to speak honestly when appropriate.
mature relationships
Mature Relationships
  • Must confront a power leader about immature behavior.
  • Must be able to respect the accomplished adult, preserve the self-esteem and challenge the immature behavior.
difference in elevation
Difference in Elevation
  • 70% of followers will not question a leader’s point of view even when they feel the leader is about to make a mistake.
  • WHY?
  • “King’s Disease”—leaders lose touch with reality.
finding equal footing
Finding Equal Footing
  • We are not our titles.
  • Must be willing to look a leader in the eye and credibly deliver our observations.
  • See the leader as a person.
  • “How can I help this fellow human being whose lot has been cast together with mine.”
when the leader is not equal
When the Leader Is Not Equal
  • Deal with our own feelings
  • Cover for the leader or let the leader appear unprepared?
  • Increased workloads
  • Resentment can run high
  • Service to the organization must be the guiding principle
trust reliability
Trust & Reliability
  • Single most important factor on which followers evaluate a leader.
  • Reliability is used when speaking of follower. A leader needs to experience both trust and competence in a follower.
  • Trust can change rapidly.
  • Take aggressive efforts to find out why.
finding the courage to speak
Finding the Courage to Speak
  • Values
  • Purpose
  • Care for the Institution or Unit
  • Care for the Leader
  • Professional Standards
  • Certainty of Data
  • Other?
strategies techniques for giving feedback
Strategies & Techniques for Giving Feedback
  • Make sure “own house is in order”
  • Prepare thoughts/data
  • Arrange appropriate time & place
  • Identify specific behavior/policy
  • Link to what the leader values
strategies techniques for giving feedback1
Strategies & Techniques for Giving Feedback
  • Report its impact and consequences
  • Convey the depth of feelings
  • Remain respectful and forthright
  • Confirm support for the leader
leader and follower obligations
Leader and Follower Obligations
  • A good leader listens
    • The leader is under no obligation to accept feedback
  • Follower has an obligation to repeat feedback if warranted
  • A good follower finds effective ways to communicate
5 dimensions of courageous followership
5 Dimensions of Courageous Followership

Assume Responsibility

Take Moral Action


Courage To…

Participate in Transformation



“Followership is a discipline of supporting leaders and helping them to lead well. It is not submission, but the wise and good care of leaders, done out of a sense of gratitude for their willingness to take on the responsibilities of leadership, and a sense of hope and faith in their abilities and potential.”

Reverend Paul Beedle

  • The Courageous Follower: Standing Up To & For Our Leaders. Ira Chaleff, 2009.
  • Various power point presentations by Ira Chaleff, 2009 & 2007. www.