Leadership is defined as the process of influencing people to work toward goals that are shared, while followership is defined as the process of following a leader’s direction. As such, effective leadership is highly dependent on effective followership. While many believe that leaders are important in an organization, many also believe that followers are very important. Effective followership is crucial for the smooth functioning of an organization, and it includes loyalty and commitment to the goals and vision of the organization (Lamm et al). Followers should be able to communicate effectively with their leaders, think independently and ask questions when necessary. Leadership behaviors include: creating and communicating a clear vision, setting goals and objectives, developing plans, anticipating change, monitoring performance, and coordinating the activities of members of an organization.
Leadership is a key element of leadership and followership. Followers may not be leaders, but they are just as important as the leaders themselves. They are the ones that will help make decisions and plans for the company to implement (Soane et al). Followers want to learn from their leader, but at the same time, they want to show their leader that they know how to do their job correctly too. A good leader is one who inspires others by their actions and helps them grow in life. They are gracious enough to share their wisdom and knowledge with their followers so that they can benefit from it and use it in their own lives. However, he does not just expect them to blindly follow him. They take a genuine interest in helping them grow into better people so that they can become leaders themselves someday (Gross). Leader-follower relationships are the key to all organizations (Zacher et al). Without followers, there would be no leaders. Effective leadership is built on a reciprocal relationship: the leader influences the follower, and the follower influences the leader. Leaders need followers to achieve their goals, and followers need leaders who can help them achieve their goals.
The best followers have the same qualities that make great leaders. The most effective leaders are also excellent followers. They understand it is necessary for them to do both well in order to be a success in any organization (Zacher et al). The enthusiasm and passion that people bring to their work is often attributed to the leader of an organization, but it is ultimately the followers who determine how engaged they will be in their jobs and how productive they will be while they are on the job. A good leader can inspire followers to do their best work, but only if those followers are open to being inspired (Zacher et al). A strong leader understands that he or she cannot make every decision alone, so he or she should delegate responsibility to others whenever possible. This means that all employees must contribute their ideas and suggestions, knowing that they will all be taken seriously. In doing so, all employees learn from each other and develop a sense of trust and respect amongst one another.
Barack Obama is the perfect example of a transformational leader. He has had amazing success in his life and career as an American politician who served as the 44th President of the United States from 2009 to 2017 (Rich). He was the first African American to serve as president, and he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009. Transformational leaders are positive, assertive, and inspiring individuals who motivate and encourage their followers to achieve great things. They are charismatic individuals that people want to follow, and they create a sense of purpose both within themselves and others (Rich). Transformational leaders have a keen ability to inspire people because they focus on motivating followers rather than just managing them. They believe in their followers’ abilities and make them feel valued by helping them develop skills, knowledge, and social connections.
By having strong communication skills and being able to give inspirational speeches that motivated his followers, Obama became a transformational leader (Trmal et al). He also uses his communication skills to develop meaningful connections with his followers, which makes them feel valued. His excellent communication skills helped him build trust among his followers so that he was able to get them motivated for collective action towards achieving specific goals. His ability to lead others by example has been evident in his actions, such as being a role model for others around him, which caused many to want to follow him due to the fact that he inspires followership.
The Impact of Followership in the Leadership of Barrack Obama
Obama’s followers responded to his call to action. They believed that they could also make an impact. His followers supported him financially, by volunteering and by voting for him. He inspired his followers to take action, and their actions contributed to his success (Trmal et al). Followers made a difference in Obama’s campaign, and they shaped his leadership style as well. In his book, The Audacity of Hope, Obama explains how he developed a passion for community organizing because it allowed him to make an impact on the people and the communities around him. A leader’s followership is critical. Following is as important as leading. Those who profess to follow may only be blamed for a lack of vision or execution. As followers, individuals must own our contribution to a leader’s vision. Just following is not enough. We, as followers, must recognize that we are leaders. We may not be technically in a leadership role, but as citizens, parents, friends, and family members, we are all leaders. Barack’s followers saw him as a light in their lives, and he was able to lead them (Rich). He was the first African-American president of the US and had the honor of serving two terms in the White House. His followers believed that he could lead them to a better tomorrow and trusted him with their future.
In my career, I am a fashion student majoring in apparel technical design. As a designer, I have to communicate with suppliers, factories, and coworkers to fulfill my jobs or design tasks. The best way to build positive relationships with others is to be a good follower. Whether I am giving or receiving feedback, listening with empathy and understanding can help me improve communication skills and solve problems more easily. As a leader, I will also have to be respectful of the opinions of others and show humility when taking on new challenges. As a leader, I will also have to be respectful of the opinions of others and show humility when taking on new challenges.
I can learn more about myself and others through my leaders and followers. By studying our interactions and determining our responsibilities, I will examine my relationships with others. We all have leadership characteristics, but some do not utilize them, while others do not follow. This analysis will show me how I became a follower and acquired various attributes via my connections with others. When I start my own brand, I may require support, or simply an assistant to work with me.
Gross, Raushan. “The Nexus Between Followership and Entrepreneurial Leadership: A Firm-Level Analysis.” Journal of Management Policy & Practice 20.5 (2019).
Lamm, Alexa J., et al. “Examining Leadership Style Influence on Engagement in a National Change Process: Implications for Leadership Education.” Journal of Leadership Education 15.4 (2016).
Rich, Wilbur C. “Introduction: Barack Obama and the Transformational Impulse.” Looking Back on President Barack Obama’s Legacy. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, 2019. 1-24.
Soane, Emma, Christina Butler, and Emma Stanton. “Followers’ personality, transformational leadership and performance.” Sport, Business and Management: An International Journal (2015).
Trmal, Samir Ali, Ummi Salwa Ahmad Bustamam, and Zainal Abidin Mohamed. “The effect of transformational leadership in achieving high performance workforce that exceeds organizational expectation: A study from a global and Islamic perspective.” Global Business and Management Research: An International Journal (2015).
Zacher, Hannes, et al. “A lifespan perspective on leadership.” Aging workers and the employee-employer relationship. Springer, Cham, 2015. 87-104.