Only within the last few decades have researchers and scholars started to focus seriously on the enigmatic majority (followers) in organizations. This chapter focuses on this enigmatic majority that makes up the bulk of the workforce, the real engine behind multiple economies around the world. This chapter will look at followership strengths and weaknesses, how the pieces of "organizational puzzles" fit together to create teams and workgroups. In addition, this chapter will attempt to identify the different followership perceptions using a new model called the 4-D Followership Model. By the end of this chapter, you should understand how each follower fits into groups, establishing a firm foundation of followership and developing great leaders, one follower at a time.
We all recognize that the world would become total chaos if every person demanded to be in charge. We would have no societies, no governments, and no progress. Simon and Garfunkle's lyrics, "I am a rock, I am an island" would be commonplace; cooperation and teamwork would not exist. Language would never have developed if each of Earth's inhabitants had insisted on his or her own way to communicate. Although I have described an extreme situation, it portrays what the world could be like if no one allowed anyone else to lead him or her.
Schools teach children to sit still, be quiet, listen, and obey. They must not interrupt, disrupt, or even become ...