Delegate, Focus, and GROW Your Business

Good Leaders Need Good Followers


There’s a lot of good reference information available regarding the importance and qualities of good leadership in business. What about the followers? This term “followers” refers to the people who work for and with the leadership of an organization. You can have the best leadership money, experience, and training can provide, however, without followers, there is no point to corporate leadership.                                    

Are All Employees Followers?

Ideally, all employees are indeed followers. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work that way. Here are a few of the kinds of employees common in business: 

  • Clockwatchers & Check Cashers – These employees aren’t driven by ambition, personal business goals or contributing to the success of their team. They simply need a job and are at the office for only as long as they have to be, and only for the reward of a regular paycheck. This kind of employee is not a true follower, nor are they helpful in propelling a small business forward for the long-term. They will leave at the first sign of more money and/or less work, elsewhere.
  • Doers – These employees do more than the bare minimum, showing care for company goals and providing quality service or products. They are happy to follow good leaders who know how to motivate them, but they may not know what to ask for. They are good followers who can be taken to the next level.
  • Future Leaders – They are Doers who also bring exceptional insight and skills which make them not only good followers but potential candidates for mentoring into future leadership positions.  

Characteristics of Good Followers

  • Integrity – An employee you can trust is incredibly valuable. You don’t wonder if they worked hard, completed tasks, or care about the image and integrity of the company in the industry and community. They are the ones you want to give more responsibility to; who will lighten leadership’s load.
  • Teachability – The desire to grow combined with true humility can result in a teachable quality which leads to an employee going to the next level. These are the ones a leader wants to pour their time into because they are a good investment.
  • Plays (& works) well with others – Having social skills and manners not only help these employees get projects done but also helps them overcome human obstacles. They work well in teams and can even learn to teach others. 
  • Communicators – All the knowledge in the world is useless if you cannot get it to the next department or outside your office. Communication helps them to advocate for themselves and their ideas, listen to others, and to share company vision. 
  • Competency – They need to be able to handle the job they were hired for, whether it’s sales, office admin or marketing. Additionally, a core competency is the ability to think on their feet at crunch time.

Not everyone will be a leader, but being a good follower can be rewarding. Leadership involves a diversity of responsibility and not everyone wants that kind of stress. Some may simply enjoy being a great lieutenant to the leader, satisfied to make the company better and follow orders while being entrusted with important jobs. Any prospering business needs those people as much as they need great leaders. 

Posted on March 4th, 2020 by Client Advocate Team

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