The reading this week is interesting because it once again brings a classic debate topic onto the table. Was it a great leader made great followers, or it was the capable followers made great leaders? In my opinion leader and follower are all relevant factors in a successful team or group, and the readings this week further proved the fact that both capable leaders and follower are the essential part of an great team.
In the first reading, the idea of a level 5 leader (Collins 2005) really did surprise me, the fact that a leader without an inspiring charisma is able to lead an organisation to success completely changed my point of view on leadership. It created a sense of hope that an introverted individual such as myself, can also be a successful leader. What interests me the most is the mirror and window characteristic of a level 5 leader, because it is essentially a great process of learning, never taking the credit of a collective success, never blame external factors. The vast amount of example introduced in the reading gave me a new benchmark of great leadership.
In the second reading, the idea of an effective follower (Kelley 1988) also gave me new insights to management and leadership.The reading suggests that sometimes effective followers and effective leaders sometimes are the same people, but playing different roles. This is interesting because it made me to think outside of the box, and considered more about the idea of “role”. Applying to my current Mike’s Bike team, as a CEO, with some luck i happen to have the highest Shareholder Value in my team, however instead of dictating the decisions made within the team, i think the best way to lead is to give your follower autonomy of their own decisions. This encouraged my fellow teammate to be more independent and allow critical thinking, which encourages and cultivates effective follower. I may not have all characteristics as a level 5 leader, but this is a good way to begin.
Collins, J. C. (2005). Level 5 leadership: the triumph of humility and fierce resolve. Harvard Business Review, 83(7/8), 136--146
Kelley, R. E. (1988). In praise of followers. Harvard Business Review, 66(6), 142--148