Followership: An Important Partner of Leadership: Qualities of Good Followers continue

Followership: An Important Partner of Leadership: Qualities of Good FollowersTownsend and Gebhardt (2003) further differentiated between two types of followership: active and passive. The biggest difference is the empowerment of the decision-making process. Active followership grants more power and involvement to assist leaders to form the final decisions, whereas passive followership just obeys the orders passed by leaders. It is clear that active followership will contribute more benefits because of the collecting resources of brain tanks. Along with the idea of active and passive attitudes, Kelley (1988) ranked five followership patterns from sheep, to yes-people, to alienated followers, to survivors, to effective followers. Kelley (2008) further argued that understanding these five basic followership styles is important for leaders because it reflects both positive and negative behaviors of followers. However, he admitted that there is still a long way to go to understand followership more fully.
Echoing the notion of attitudes and behaviors of followership, Chaleff (2008) proposed that there are four types of followers: implementers, resources, partners, and individualists. Followers who are implementers are high support and low challenge, and they can effectively execute the tasks but rarely to challenge the norm. Followers who are resources are low support and low challenge, and they only do enough to retain their positions. Followers who are partners are high support and high challenge, and they have more responsibilities. The last type of followers is individualists who are low support and high challenge, and their behaviors are more like maverick having fresh ideas but they are reluctant to collaborate with others. Within this framework, Chaleff (2008) believed that followers’ behaviors are related to leader behaviors, and this connection retains some level of variations in the follower styles depending on the leadership styles. According to Chaleff (2008), a good follower should take risks and be courageous to take moral action when needed. In this spirit, “followers take their own responsibility seriously, in which . . . they are committed to caring for and supporting leaders who use their power for the common good, will reject budding tyrants . . . before they amass power” (p. 86).
Together, it is also suggested two important characteristics of good followers that link to organizational development. It can further be discussed from two categories: intrapersonal and interpersonal factors. In the intrapersonal domain, a good follower has higher emotional intelligence with an ability to understand and use their intelligences as tools for organizational development. Good followers also have higher interpersonal connections, which are not only maintained by face-to-face situation, but also need to leverage all different sources to help to improve the quality of their work. Together, these two characteristics of good followers will lead to that their work, conscience, and relationships with others and organizations are all one.