7Followership Styles, Motives, and Traits

Effective followership is defined by a set of styles that followers display in order to accomplish the needs of the leader as well as provide leadership direction to their followers.

Followership Styles

A follower style is one that the follower uses to carry out the direction of the leader, fill the leadership void of a titled executive, and influence other followers to perform the work necessary to accomplish the goals set forth by the company. Different situations call for different followership styles. The style adopted should be one that best incorporates the strengths and weaknesses of the leader, the organization's objectives, and the professional and personal needs of the other followers.

Followers exist at all levels of the company. Tapping into the best followers to unleash the power of followership is an underappreciated tool available to companies. The range of follower activity spans from being a subordinate, order taker, or rule follower and blindly performing the tasks assigned at the one extreme. The other extreme, being an exemplary follower, requires active, innovative, and critical thinking, combined with a positive attitude, subject matter expertise (peer credibility), dedication to the leader's purpose and the organization's mission, and ability to get work done regardless of cultural barriers.

Table 7.1 Followership Styles

Common Followership Style Descriptions Subordinate/Followership/Amplifier Style

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