When was the last time you heard someone say, “My career goal is to be a follower”? Probably never – unless you’re talking to a world-class female dance champion! But learning to follow well is a large part of learning to lead well. And teaching our employees to follow their leaders is an essential part of teaching them to lead when their time comes.
In the movie, The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, two short, power-packed lines are spoken between a leader and his close follower. Near the end of the movie, at the beginning of the final showdown between Peter Pevensie and his army and the White Witch and her army, Peter asks his right-hand centaur, Oreius, “Are you with me?” Oreius responds unwaveringly, “To the death.”
That’s a practiced follower. And that’s a follower that’s a leader.
To be sure, good “followership” is not defined as catering to your leader’s every whim! But skilled followers are, nevertheless, invaluable to the workplace for these three reasons:
Great followers are not sheep. Rather they support and assist leaders when leaders do the right thing, and stand up to leaders when they are heading in the wrong direction. They also are often the liaison between sparring leaders or a leader and another follower.
They develop the skills needed to become leaders.
Essential skills are learned while closely following the leader. Situational awareness, handling differences with diplomacy, courage and conviction, engaging and collaborating with others, motivation, and critical thinking are all learned while observing those in leadership roles.
They know the value of team work.
Wise followers understand the value of a common goal, and that leaders, team members, and coworkers are allies in the completion of the mission. Delegation is their middle name. They know how to help and how to seek it, too.
At Culver-Newlin, we know that greatness is becoming a servant for the sake of others. A great leader must first learn to be a great follower. It’s how we’ve operated for over 50 years. Customer service is our foundation and your satisfaction is our goal. From our CEO to our sales team, our delivery personnel to our receptionist, our design staff to our warehouse workers, Culver-Newlin is here to serve your needs.
When you want the best in school or office furniture, contact us at 949-288-6739 or firstname.lastname@example.org.