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 Guide : Leading, Following

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Posts : 894
Join date : 2009-01-21
Age : 26

PostSubject: Guide : Leading, Following   Mon Jan 26, 2009 2:51 am

[Originally written by Nacht Killa.]

As I am a member of the military in real life, I have the benefit of having learned how to become both a leader and a follower in a real military sense. This knowledge gives me the opportunity to share what it really means with those members of the Sixth that haven't had the opportunity to really learn what it is to be a leader and a follower.

Relationships between leaders and followers are as two points on a continuum anchored on one end by 'submissive followership' and on the other by 'charismatic leadership'.

Leadership - the act and science of influencing and directing people to accomplish the mission.

Followership - the capacity to follow a leader.

Leadership Traits (SLICED)

  • Selflessness - Sacrificing personal wants and needs for the greater cause.
  • Loyalty - Faithfulness to superiors, subordinates and peers.
  • Integrity - Total commitment to the highest personal and professional standards.
  • Commitment - Complete devotion to duty
  • Energy - Enthusiasm and motivation to take the initiative<li>Decisiveness - Willingness to make decisions, act on them, and accept responsibility for those decisions.

Followership Traits (CILI)

  • Competence - Accomplishing assigned tasks.
  • Integrity - Total commitment to the highest personal and professional standards.
  • Loyalty - Supporting and enhancing the effectiveness of leaders.
    - Faithfulness - Faithfully supporting leader's decisions and actions.
    - Obedience - Having the trust in your leader to obey without question.
    - Respectfulness - Having an attitude of respect for those in authority and behaving accordingly.<li>Initiative - Motivation, determination, perservance, and risk-taking.

A good follower should also abide by certain actions that enhance their role and positions.

  • 1. Know your abilities and seek self-improvement
  • 2. Be technically proficient
  • 3. Obey orders and initiate appropriate actions in the absence of orders
  • 4. Develope a sense of responsibility, and take responsibility for your actions
  • 5. Make sound and timely decisions and recommendations
  • 6. Live and set the example for others
  • 7. Be familiar with your leaders and their jobs; anticipate their requirements.
  • 8. Keep your leaders informed
  • 9. Preserve your ethics, morality, and integrity when performing every task.<li>10. Be a team player.

Followers must realize that they must sometimes put personal feelings aside to accomplish the mission.

Realize that 'different' is not always 'wrong'. Just because you see things differently than your leader, neither of you is necessarily wrong; the leader simply has the last word.

By being supportive and understanding, you'll have the chance to earn position of influence, trust and respect, and eventually be able to have the last word yourself. If you want to see your ideas realized, first learn to follow, so you can learn to lead.


When leaders have influence over their followers, they are able to affect and impact behaviors.
Power is not meant to be negative in context; it only becomes negative when it's overused, misused, or neglected.

Types of Power

Personal Power - This comes from the confidence and trust other people have in the leader. Not rank or position, but influence earned by being type of leader people follow because they want to, not because they have to.

Positional Power - As a leader, your influence will partly be based on your personal attributes, and also based on your position in the organization; also called 'legitimate power'. This includes the ability to enforce discipline and provide rewards.

Misuses of Power

Leaders can misuse both influence and power, and can have an extremely negative impact because misuse of power results in a breakdown in trust; and when trust is lost, morale and productivity eventually go down.

    Misuse of influence - Over-reliance on personal influence; using personal influence for personal gain, ignoring the needs of the whole.
    Misuse of power - Doing nothing; using power for personal gain.

Remember: Every follower is also a leader. Every leader is also a follower.
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