Ivey Business Journal: Followership: The Other Side of Leadership
"... Followership is a straightforward concept. It is the ability to take direction well, to get in line behind a program, to be part of a team and to deliver on what is expected of you. It gets a bit of a bad rap! How well the followers follow is probably just as important to enterprise success as how well the leaders lead.
The label “excellent follower” can be a backhanded compliment. It is not a reputation you necessarily want if you are seeking higher corporate office. There is something of a stigma to followership skills. Pity because the practical reality is one does not reach progressively more responsible leadership positions without demonstrating an ability to follow and function effectively in a group. The fact is that in organizations everybody is both a leader and a follower depending on the circumstances which just adds to the paradox of the followership stigma.
Followership may take the backseat to leadership but it matters: it matters a lot! Quite simply, where followership is a failure, not much gets done and/or what does get done is not what was supposed to get done. Followership problems manifest themselves in a poor work ethic, bad morale, distraction from goals, unsatisfied customers, lost opportunities, high costs, product quality issues and weak competitiveness. At the extreme, weak leadership and weak followership are two sides of the same coin and the consequence is always the same: organizational confusion and poor performance. ..."