The opposite of followership is leadership. Between the two, the most preferred and “noble” choice for everyone is leadership.
Leadership has been a subject so pronounced and common. There is a palpable fear that most of the failures in organizations, families, companies, from governments, etc., are as a result of poor leadership. And this is true.
People at the hemp of affairs have contributed to the many wrongs we have today. And we haven’t yet seen the last of it. Public figures and leaders of old made name through what they had done. Their exemplary leadership has stood the test of time. We can mention just a few (my chosen ones). Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, Kwame Nkrumah, Lin Kuan Yu, Jomo Kenyatta, Abraham Lincoln.
Other non-political actors have achieved success and have set the pace in many areas of human endeavor. These persons have become our icons and role models. Some of the scientific theories and principles that govern how we operate are named after persons who impacted their generation, becoming trailblazers. Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, Carl Max, Archimedes, Pythagoras, Michael Faraday, etc.
We cannot fail to mention what our entertainers (celebs) are doing. They are setting the standard for the next generation in that industry. As important and central as leadership may be, leadership success will always owe it to the people following from behind or those doing the job. A supervisor will not stand out as the best amongst equals if his subordinates are recalcitrant. If we had no consumers there will be no need for there to be producers. A musician requires the support of his/her fans for there to be record sales and fame.
The pride of leadership is anchored on the health of the followers. There may be no awards to honor followership, but that shouldn’t make followership a second-class position. It is evident that the rear is always an unwanted position for any gifted person. Nobody enjoys being led. But the best place to be in preparation for a possible leadership role is followership.
Followers need to love themselves in their role. Followers are indispensable. When subordinates are recognized and valued it will serve as an inspiration and will bring out the best in them. Praising followers provides a sense of belonging. This can become a protective measure.
With a sense of belonging within an organization, followers may increase commitment to the organization. Followers deserve better treatment and recognition.
By Itoro Orok
Email address: [email protected]