Characteristics Of Good Followers |

Characteristics of Good Followers

Characteristics of Good Followers
Characteristics of Good Followers
Effective leaders learn how to be good followers before climbing the ladder to lead
others. Notably, some people are good followers yet they do not make good leaders. However,
nearly all leaders are active supporters. In other words, skills that make good followers make
great leaders. Successful followers have various characteristics, which falls into three categories,
that is, motivation, loyalty, and reliability. This article explores five traits of active followers.
Ideally, followers must exhibit the ability to think for themselves by exercising control
and independence and perform their tasks with minimal supervision. That is, leaders can reliably
delegate responsibility. Therefore, they must anticipate needs at their personal level of authority
and competence. Additionally, followers view themselves equal to the leaders they follow,
except in responsibility aspects. The character enables them to; openly and mindfully disagree
with leadership. That is to say, perfect followers express their thoughts and views without the
intimidation of boundary or hierarchy. Self- management also involves seeing the leaders follow
others and appreciating them in teams. Significantly, self-managed followers befit organizations
in that they do not spend elaborate resources in control systems.
For example, Jane was employed as a banker where she met John, her immediate boss.
Prior to her coming, John had juniors he could reliably delegate duties to because in few
instances he did so; they were either late or failed. But all that changed when Jane came. She
could work without supervision and John could trust her judgment in most cases. Again, Jane
was not afraid to challenge John on departmental decisions as opposed to another junior who just
feared. Eventually, other junior employees emulated Janes character, a development that created
a unique workforce, as John would later admit in an interview.
Active followers exhibit dedication while performing tasks because they feel committed
to a product, cause, organization or an idea. People who show commitment are very concerned
about what they do and always avoid conflict of interest. However, significant commitment is
something other people may misinterpret and abuse. Some colleagues, probably not willing to
work, abandoned work, committed individuals. Therefore, followers should be careful not to fall
victims of that parasitic behavior. Typically, most people prefer working with committed
individuals because they boost morale and workers who deviate from normal workings are
jostled back into line. Eventually, projects timeline remain the same because of perceived goal.
Again, the commitment must be consistent with objectives of the organization because
dedication in a wrong path can have detrimental results.
For instance, a young computer technologist cared deeply about operations in his firm.
He understood that software application applied in collecting data about company data was
ineffective. He embarked on a mission to develop a better one. Despite experiencing challenges,
the technologist worked closely with his departmental to develop a new software application that
revolutionize organization workings. His immediate boss acknowledges his commitment, a
factor that contributed to his positive appraisal that year.
Courage and Confidence
Without a doubt, effective followers are honest, courageous, and credible. In most
instances, they portray critical thinking and independence, which make them trusted individuals.
Moreover, followers give credit where it is due to, share successes, and admit when they are
wrong. Interestingly, they form their unique ethical standards and champion for their beliefs.
Insightful, fearless, and candid followers keep leaders and co-workers in informed and honest. In
other words, they act as gatekeepers of ethics by keeping leaders in check, especially where
questionable characters are familiar.
Tim, a junior at financial expert of Glassglow Inc., suspected that his bosses were
manipulating figures during financial reporting to give a false impression of the actual state.
Since his conscience did not allow him to continue doing the fraud, he wrote a letter to his
immediate financial head and another to the chief financial officer. However, his requests for
change of operations yielded nothing. However, fearful Tim resigned and said nothing. One year
after his resignation, an audit team unearthed malpractices at Glasgow, a revelation that cause the
company fortune and led to its bankruptcy. If Tim could firmly courageously fight for what e
believed was right, he could have acted more than he did and saved the company.
Focus and Competence
Mastery of skills is one aspect that most followers must portray and make it useful to
their organizations. That is, they hold higher performance standards that averagely required.
Groups set targets that members always peg their performance on, followers go far much beyond
the targets. Less efficient followers are reluctant to participate in training and development
unless it if initiated by organizations. However, real followers attend seminars and advance their
knowledge without coax from the company. In brief, effective followers improve their
competence levels without a push from their leaders by taking extra work gladly.
Kim Jong joined Zing Inc. when the company only concentrated on production and
supplied to local markets. After staying in the firm as a junior production officer for one year,
Jong realized that markets for their products existed overseas and regionally. He convinced his
leaders that the company needed serious marketing at international levels. Despite not being a
marketing graduate, Jong attended classes in sales management. He also attended seminars
organized by professional marketing firms and joined professional bodies that promoted
international marketing. Within two years of dedication and focus, Jong expanded markets for
Zing Inc. to the regional level. Admittedly, the company expanded its production thanks to his
Communication Skills
A good follower must understand how to communicate to both leaders and other team
members. Communication by followers should exhibit support for other people’s efforts,
welcome feedback, and be intriguing. Furthermore, they should provide both detailed and
informative information to their leaders. Therefore, skills in understanding emotion and character
of others are essential in demonstrating exemplary messages to others.
For example, Jim noticed that there was they faced difficulty in carrying out their duties
because of a poor office setting. Some sections of the room always leaked because it had not
been repaired for years. Jim collected suggestions and opinions from all his colleagues and later
wrote a letter to the management requesting attention. Within two weeks, the place was in good
shape. Jim demonstrated effective communication between his team members and leaders to
solve a problem.
Dwyer, J., Ganegoda, D., Greenberg, J., Judge, T., Robbins, S., & Thill, J. (2014).
Communication for business. Sydney: Pearson Australia.

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