Followership: What it is and Why it’s Essential for Leaders to Understand

“If you think you’re a leader and you turn around and no one is following you, 那你就出去散散步.” There are mixed opinions about the source of this quote, but it’s one that Dr. 奇普·温德姆,QT电子游戏的教练 M.A. 战略领导力课程,一直是最重要的.

传统上, the world has held a leadership-centric view: leadership being of the utmost importance and everything else, 包括追随, 被二次. But followers are essential to the success of any team or organization, which is why studying the concept of followership can be transformative to a person’s leadership abilities.

QT电子游戏与温德姆坐下来,进一步了解什么是追随者, 为什么这对领导者来说是一个重要的概念, and how we can cultivate good followership in ourselves and others.


The study of followership concerns itself with the role a leader plays in understanding who their followers are and how best to lead them. At the same time, it also helps leaders understand how to be better followers themselves. 所有的领导者有时都是追随者,将来也会是, and understanding followers’ individual needs (including your own) will help you move your organization forward.


等级领导的时代已经结束. “那种风格几乎消失了,”温德姆说. “More and more, we need to be thinking about the 技能 and needs of the people we work with.而不是追随者去适应他们的领导者, Windham says that leaders must identify and adapt to the needs and values of their followers.

随着社会变得更加多样化,追随者的需求和价值观也变得更加多样化. “People come to our organizations with all kinds of things that make up who they are,” Windham says. “It really is a leader’s job to identify all of the different values, 技能, 背景, and relationships so that we can lead each individual based on their values, 同时还在努力达到相同的最终目标.”


从确定你的追随者风格开始. 有各种各样的工具可以帮助解决这个问题, 但当温德姆教授追随者课程时, 他使用了罗伯特·E. Kelley的模型有五种不同的追随者风格. People can identify their followership style by understanding where they fall along two different continuums: engagement (from passive to active) and critical thinking (from dependent to independent).

  • 的追随者: 的追随者s have a high level of active engagement and high level of independent critical thinking thinking. Characteristics of an exemplary follower include a willingness to take initiative, 提供建设性的批评, 假设所有权, 支持组织的目标.
  • 墨守成规的追随者: 墨守成规的追随者s have high levels of active engagement but lower levels of critical thinking. 他们是积极的“实干家”,通常被视为团队合作者. 他们愿意接受任务,信任领导, but often they will put the needs of the organization over their own.
  • 被动跟随器: Passive followers tend to fall on the lower end of both engagement and critical thinking. They follow the leader without question, but need consistent direction. 他们可能是那种会投入时间的人, 但更多的, and they may believe that the organization and its leaders are uninterested in their ideas.
  • 疏远了从动件: 疏远了从动件s have high levels of independent critical thinking but are low in engagement. They often see themselves as people with a healthy level of skepticism, 但其他人可能认为他们愤世嫉俗,不善于团队合作. They might feel like their leader doesn’t fully recognize or utilize their talent.
  • 实用主义者追随者: 实用主义者追随者s have moderate levels of engagement and critical thinking. They may feel like their work environment is full of uncertainty and tend to see where things go before they take action. They are sometimes perceived by others as people who play political games, but they typically see themselves as people who know how to work the system to get things done.

你把自己归为模范追随者了吗? 温德姆建议你再仔细看看. “A lot of people think they are innately exemplary followers when they’re really not,”他说. “85-90% of people tend to place themselves in the exemplary follower category, 但这是不现实的. 如果你能诚实面对自己的落脚点, it makes it much easier to identify what your needs are and what types of workplace environments work for you.”


有很多QT电子游戏这个话题的书,其中一本是 勇敢的追随者:为QT电子游戏的领袖挺身而出 由爱尔兰共和军Chaleff. 温德姆在他的后续课程中使用了这本书. Here are a few high-level characteristics of good followers from Chaleff:

  • Good followers don’t orbit around the leader; followers and leaders orbit together around a common purpose. 他们结成伙伴关系,致力于共同的价值观和事业.
  • Good followers are passionate about their work and the people they serve. If they experience a loss of passion for their work and organization, 他们不满足于将其视为常态.
  • Good followers will defend their leaders when they encounter complaints being made behind the leader’s back. But they will also respectfully challenge a leader if they present questionable ideas or behavior.
  • Good followers will strive to be self-aware and seek feedback on their performance so that they can identify both strengths and areas for growth.
  • 好的追随者可能有自己的兴趣, such as personal growth—but they ensure that their interests align with the mission of an organization, 而不是和它竞争.


培养良好的追随者有很多方法, 但是温德姆说理解, 承认, 验证你的追随者的价值是关键. “You want to genuinely become interested in the things that are important to your followers,”他说. 然后你就可以在这种理解的基础上建立关系.” Building genuine relationships based on your understanding of your followers’ values will help you cultivate trust, 满足你追随者的独特需求, 并最终引导你的追随者朝着特定的目标前进.

你的追随者所持有的价值观将是个人的(例如.g. 家庭、旅行、灵活性)和职业(例如.g. 发展机遇, 一个包容性强的工作环境, 团队建设), 在今天的社会中, QT电子游戏的追随者所持有的价值观是非常多样化的. 但在一天结束的时候, 一切都是QT电子游戏人际关系, 温德姆说:“这是QT电子游戏识别你是谁, 你的追随者是谁, 以及这些关系是如何相互作用的.”

Dr. Chipp Windham is the lead instructor for Bethel University’s course called “Followership: The Other Side of Leadership.“这是QT电子游戏课程的一部分 M.A. 战略领导力课程 是什么让领导者具备自我意识, 情商, and competencies necessary to lead people and organizations in new directions. 


Chaleff,爱尔兰共和军. (2009). 勇敢的追随者:勇敢地面对和支持QT电子游戏的领袖. (第三艾德.). 旧金山:Berrett-Koehler出版社.

里吉奥,R. E.Chaleff,我., & Lipman-Blumen J. (Eds.). (2008). The Art of Followership: How great followers create great leaders and organizations. 旧金山:?.