This week was a simple week, basically because there were no lectures. All we had to do was get together in our MikesBikes group and work. But the readings for this week was interesting for me. Leadership was a concept I knew already, but Followership was a new concept for me.
Following whether it is a group member or a location is an easy and simple task, yet the readings provided detailed explanation of what does it mean to follow a leader. Kelley (1988) argues that effective followers derive motivation from ambition. By acknowledging their role and hope to win the trust and acceptance of peer member and their supervisors and eventually move up to a leader role. Also good followers can study under leaders from a subordinate’s perspective including being an apprentice. Studying can make an effective follower and at the end is prerequisite for organizational success. Through reading this I’ve learnt that successful organizations is not solely dependent on its leaders, but also the followers; at the end it is the workers or group members that make the organization.
Furthermore, Spreier et al., (2006) concept of motivation (achievement), affiliation and power in leadership taught me how as a leader what things should a leader aim to achieve. Achievement for a leader is critical in organizations, whether it is meeting or exceeding a standard of excellence or improving personal performance. Ultimately it reflects the organizational goals. Also, power is another concept I learnt in previous management course where in a group environment equal distribution of power is important. Spreier et al., (2006) further emphasizes the two forms including personalized; the leader draws strength from controlling others and making them fell weak and socialized; the leader’s strength comes from empowering people. Initially this can determine the fate of the group and numerous case studies shows that leaders who persuade personalized power do not work at the end. ‘Be less coercive and more collaborative. Influence rather than direct. Focus more on people and less on numbers and results’ (Spreier et al., 2006) is a way to go.
Performing our first practice round for our MikesBikes, I feel that there is need for both leadership and followership when coming to decision making and I hope to lead and/or follow what my group member wants and also what I want.
Kelley, R. E. (1988). In praise of followers. Harvard Business Review, 66(6), 142--148
Spreier, S. W., Fontaine, M. H., & Malloy, R. L. (2006). Leadership run amok. Harvard Business Review, 84(6), 72--82