Many offices are finding they have plenty of leaders but not enough followers. And it isn’t easy to follow well

30. September 2015

Date: 30-09-2015
Source: The Wall Street Journal
Subject: The Joy of Following

We hear a lot of talk promoting leadership in the workplace. But few people aspire to be followers.

Most offices are populated with too many leaders and too few followers as a result. Now, some employers are training people in “followership.” That doesn’t mean being a doormat or a docile sheep, but taking responsibility for shared goals, being a self-starter and telling leaders the awkward truth when they mess up.

It isn’t an easy sell. When consultants Marc and Samantha Hurwitz arrive to hold corporate-training programs in followership, some employers ask them not to use “the F-word,” says Ms. Hurwitz, co-author with Mr. Hurwitz of “Leadership Is Half the Story.” Employers, Mr. Hurwitz adds, say “Can you call it something else, like ‘leader support?’ ”

Countless employers, authors and coaches promote leadership skills, but what if there’s nobody to follow? WSJ’s Sue Shellenbarger discusses the traits of a good follower with Tanya Rivero. Read the rest of this entry »