Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Alternative to "Followers" Survey

There are a few books out on followership; a clever way of addressing the responsibilities of those who may be leaders in their own right but who also report to leaders.

My question is this: Since "follower" has a certain submissive/subordinate tone, is there a term that is less objectionable and - dare we hope? - even positive; one that you wouldn't mind applying to yourself?

4 Comments:

At 12:26 PM, Blogger Cultural Offering said...

Michael - I have no problem with the term "follower." Rather than "submissive", we should refer to it as humble - a sign of respect for one of many roles you must play in business and society. A friend of mine who works for a Japanese company once told me that his president would never reject one of his recommendations outright. He might question them thoroughly but, in the end, would accept them because, as the president explained: "If I did not accept your recommendations, how could I expect you to follow me?" A nice way of acknowledging the varying roles that we all must play.
Followership is a vastly underrated and valuable skill.

 
At 12:33 PM, Anonymous Jeff said...

I always used "wing commander"...

- J.

 
At 7:49 PM, Anonymous Rob said...

Follower is not very inclusive, and indeed just doesn't sound right. Are you not a member of the team/squad/group/company, one of those members is the leader, and you fit into the structure of the team, nested within other teams. I think being a 'team player' is better than being a follower. Having said that,
from a leaders point of view those subordinates who do my bidding I refer to as minions, a servile dependent, follower, or underling

 
At 11:51 AM, Anonymous Jim Stroup said...

While I see the search for logic and honor in CO's comment, I am more inclined to Rob's view. The problem to me isn't so much with how so-called 'followers' reconcile themselves to that station in life, but rather with the view of individual leadership that finds it necessary to put them there.

 

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