Leadership is a glorified position. It is quite a bit of responsibility to be accountable for others and create strategies. Not much attention is given to team members who actually have to make strategies come alive and work toward goals set by others.
In order to have a leader, there must be followers. Many leaders focus on themselves, not nurturing the leader-follower dynamic. This must change to fit the ever-evolving workplace and the emerging importance of followership over leadership.
Leaders should be role models, not authority figures. In a study of current leadership, many leaders were found to be self-centered and somewhat unqualified. This can negatively impact team morale and set a bad example.
The concept of followership has been around for centuries, but it’s only recently that we’ve started to understand its importance in the modern world. Followership is the ability to lead others by inspiring and motivating them to achieve their goals.
Followership Vs. Leadership
Some believe that followership is more important than leadership, while others believe the opposite. There are pros and cons to both perspectives, but ultimately, it’s up to each individual to decide what side they’re on.
The Pros & Cons of Followership
- The ability to lead by example: Followers can often be more effective leaders than those in positions of authority. This is because they have the ability to lead by example and inspire others to achieve their goals.
- The ability to build trust: Followers are able to build trust with those they interact with, which can make it easier to achieve goals together.
- The ability to motivate: Followers have the ability to motivate and inspire others to achieve their goals.
- The potential for abuse: Unfortunately, there is always the potential for abuse when it comes to followership. Those in positions of authority can often take advantage of their followers, which can lead to negative outcomes.
- The potential for conflict: Followers often have to deal with conflict, as they are often working with people from different backgrounds and with different goals.
- The need for patience: Followership can sometimes be a slow process, as it can take time for trust to be built and for goals to be achieved.
Ultimately, it’s up to each individual to decide what works best for them. There are many ways to level up leadership selection in the modern world. In the wake of the leaderhip study mentioned above, scholars formed a leadership think tank and created six tips to improve leadership abilities.
1. Honor the contributions of others on the team
Leaders tend to be romanticized. We tend to focus on them when giving credit rather than seeing their team members as the true heroes for their hard work and dedication — without the high salaries. Leaders do personally impact the bottom line. However, success is generally a collaborative team effort. It’s important to honor the contributions of others on the team in order to create a positive and productive work environment.
2. Take care to hire the right leader for the team
Look at the bigger picture. Leading is a co-construction of leaders and team members. Focus on overcoming the bias of rewarding only a single person.
The best person is not always chosen as the leader. Those who are chosen might be better at self-promoting. They may also see their leadership position as just a stepping stone to an even higher position, to the detriment of their team. The wrong person in charge can lead to stagnant results and a feeling of being trapped.
3. Pay attention to ethics
Unfortunately, not all leaders are ethical. In fact, some leaders will do whatever it takes to get ahead, even if it means sacrificing the well-being of their team members. This can create a toxic environment and lead to a high turnover rate.
It’s important to pay attention to ethics when selecting a leader. Look for someone who is honest and transparent. They should also be fair and balanced in their decision-making.
4. Be a world citizen
The world is becoming increasingly connected. This means that leaders need to be able to work with people from all over the world in order to be successful.
Look for someone who is open-minded and culturally aware. Ideally, they should also be able to speak multiple languages and/or be familiar with various cultures. There are many ways to level up leadership selection in the modern world. By taking these factors into consideration, you can ensure that you’re choosing the best possible leader for your team.
Leaders play an important role in any organization. They are responsible for setting the vision and guiding the team to success. However, with the changing landscape of the working world, it’s important to level up leadership selection to keep pace.
5. Level up leadership development
Current leadership development is greatly lacking in many industries. It typically focuses on training upper-level leaders in a resort-style setting for a short amount of time. Afterward, there is little to no follow-up. Leaders are not given the time to improve. Training is usually done in isolation, without their team members.
Leadership development should be a continuous process. It should involve the whole team, not just the leader. Training should involve simulations that immerse the leader in real-life situations. Leaders should also be given time to practice what they have learned.
Follow-up is important to ensure that leaders are able to implement what they have learned. A coach or mentor can help leaders to identify areas of improvement and hold them accountable for making changes.
By leveling up leadership development, companies can ensure that they have the best possible leaders in place. This will lead to better results and a more positive impact on the company.
When it comes time to choose a leader, make sure to consider all of these factors. Doing so will help to ensure that you select the best possible candidate for the job. By taking the time to level up your leadership selection, you can create a better team and a more successful company.
What do you think is the most important factor in leadership selection?