Thursday, March 30, 2006

Leadership defined by Followers

Followers Define Leaders by BNET's Don Blohowiak -- “Follower behavior, not leader behavior, defines leadership,” write Aubrey C. Daniels and James E. Daniels in Measure of a Leader. The extent of one’s leadership, The extent of one’s leadership, the Daniels say in their recent book, is determined less by results and more by the way followers behave.

The Daniels argue that a leader is determined by four key follower actions:

1. Followers deliver discretionary behavior directed toward the leader’s goals.
2. Followers make sacrifices for the leader’s cause.
3. Followers tend to reinforce or correct others so that they also conform to the leader’s teachings and example.
4. Followers set guidelines for their own personal behavior based on their perceived estimate of that which the leader would approve or disapprove.

In explaining their criteria for defining leadership, the Daniels write:

The first criterion suggests that the most effective leaders are those who get more out of the followers than the followers are required to give. In essence, the individuals donate some of their time and energy to the leader’s cause.

The second criterion states that the follower is willing to make sacrifices to advance the leader’s cause. This implies a commitment to the leader and his cause and is another example of a voluntary choice rather than a forced one.

In essence, the individuals donate some of their time and energy to the leader’s cause.The third criterion talks about the relationship the followers have with each other as a result of the leader’s example. They agree that the leader and his objectives are worthy enough that they will be supportive of, rather than competitive with, one another.

And, finally, the fourth criterion is about the followers’ relationship with the leader. The follower and the leader respect each other for what each contributes to the cause.

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