Followers Essay

This essay has a total of 966 words and 5 pages.


Followers plan an active role in the process of leadership. By being a follower, it does
not mean that one is inferior to a leader, but that they simply play a different role.
Webster's dictionary defines follow as to come or occur after, but it does not necessarily
imply a causal relationship with what goes before. A follower is part of the team. A
quarterback cannot win the game without the efforts of the entire team. He can throw or
run the ball but without his team members blocking, he will not make the touch down. Much
like a game, team players are imperative to the success of the organization.

There are five different types of followers as stated by Frisina (2005) in the article
Learn to Lead by Following. The types of followers Frisina identified include "yes
people", sheep, survivors, alienated followers, and effective followers.

"Yes people" are those followers that always agree to what the leader is saying. As
Wojcicki (2001) wrote in his article, A Role for Followers in These Extraordinary Times,
followers must give leaders the time and freedom to develop plans of action. John Kennedy
said though, that our role as followers is sometimes only to consent. After the plan is in
motion, or an order is given, the role of the employee is to carry out the plan, not argue
the strategy. Being a "yes person" means that there is never any disagreement between a
leader and a follower. Sometimes a follower might have a better idea and thinks outside
the box. A good leader should take the initiative to listen to him/her. Creativity and
unorthodox ideas could be the new success for the organization.

Leaders may need "yes people" to carry out certain tasks, but the majority of leaders
would rather have an honest opinion when asking for it.

"Sheep people" are those types of followers who never have an opinion. They follow the
"herd" and never stray. Even if they feel that something is not right, they tend to follow
and never state that there might be a problem. Sheep have a strong instinct to follow the
leader, and this behavior can make handling easier. They must be able to see a pathway of
escape, and should be able to see other sheep moving in front of them. Physiologically,
sheep respond to stress with increased heart rates. If stress is severe enough, elevated
cortisol levels, increase feed requirements and reduces immunity. Stress may, therefore,
adversely influence their well-being. Much like sheep, these type followers need a leader.
Without a leader there is confusion, disorganization, and undefined goals. Under stress
some people eat more, drink or smoke. In recent years medical research has proven that
stress has a negative effect on our immune system. Much like sheep, these type followers'
ideal position is to remain with or behind their coworkers and out of stressful or
confrontational issues.

A survivor is someone who always follows the norm. They look to how others act in similar
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