Followership: An Important Partner of Leadership: Introduction

Followership: An Important Partner of Leadership: IntroductionIt is believed three key elements are important to leaders: charisma, personality, and competence (Bateman, 2011). For followers, however, integrity and leadership values seem more important (Bateman, 2011). Indeed, distrust and discontent may trigger a disaster if followers have negative leadership experiences (Greyvenstein & Cilliers, 2012). Thus, to some extent, followership is the mirror image of leadership.
Many scholars and practitioners of leadership support the idea of interplay between leaders and followers. Kleiner (2008) noted, “leadership and followership are two sides of the same coin, each intimately connected with the other in a dynamic manner” (p. 93). Buchanan (2007) stated, “Without great followers, leaders would become schizophrenics sitting in their offices talking to themselves” (p. 110). Attridge (1949) went further and argued that “good followership is more vital to a democracy than excessive leadership” (p. 12). Bennis (2008) had a similar thought and suggested “great followership is harder than leadership.  Continue reading »