Often, we hear that the world is made up of leaders and followers. I like to think it is more complex than that. In both my personal and professional life, there have been times when I needed to fill each role. In certain settings and situations, I needed to step up and lead the group. Other times, I recognized a talented leader and knew that I could be most helpful by following well.
It often seems that the “follower” role is less appealing. It’s as if everyone is working towards becoming a leader. But there are times when we need to practice following. In fact, I think there are times when people who follow well are the key to success. When we practice following and do it confidently, following can transform into its own style of leadership. Followership, if you will.
Check out this TED talk. Pay attention to how the TED speaker describes the role of the first follower. It might surprise you. And next time you are in a situation where there is a need for a follower, practice doing it well!