A second thought of the week that I think was better served in a second learning journal: that I believe that leaders are more important than followers, and the readings didn’t change this belief.
I mean, we all (most of us, anyway) have this perceived idea that leadership = greatness. That leadership = success. In the same way that “the leadership role has the glamour and attention” (Kelley, 1988), the reverse is true – followership is considered mediocre, average, normal.
There were two readings on leadership and one on followership, despite the fact that “most of us are more often followers than leaders” (Kelley, 1988). We get “Level 5” leaders that can transform “a good company into a great one” (Collins, 2005) whereas we get “delighted and frankly amazed that rank-and-file employees” can simply operate without a leader (Kelley, 1988).
I’ve always perceived myself to be a follower – if offered the choice, I would prefer to be led and contribute my ideas with someone else coordinating and taking charge. And I’ve always attributed this as a fact-of-life because my personality is inherently quiet, reasonably unsocial and extremely introverted. I’m slowly learning that not being an extrovert is no reason for not being a leader. I am majoring in management after all (let’s put aside any management vs. leadership debates for now). But if the readings were supposed to tell me that effective leadership is not something to aspire to any more than being an effective follower, I didn’t feel it. Maybe it’s the social farce that says being a leader is the value equivalent of getting married and having a family. Maybe it’s because fewer people are leaders, and we like being raised higher than the rest; it is natural to desire special unique attention. Am I too much a product of my environment? I can’t fully tell – we [environment and I] are messily integrated. But I do know what I believe, no matter where that belief comes from.
So leadership wins this one. I don’t think I have any/can’t think of any specific actions to take away from this as per Daudelin’s (1996) model says I should, but I still think I’ve reflected nonetheless. [I’ve also decided it’s okay to disagree with readings. I find that sometimes, something might be true for you and not for anyone else. And that’s normal].
Collins, J. C. (2005). Level 5 leadership: the triumph of humility and fierce resolve.Harvard Business Review, 83(7/8), 136—146
Daudelin, M. W. (1996). Learning from experience through reflection. Organizational Dynamics, 24(3), 36--48
Kelley, R. E. (1988). In praise of followers.Harvard Business Review, 66(6), 142--148