Mesa Public Safety Communications February 2, 2011 Analyze theories of Effective Followership and Partnering Classify followers in terms of Quality of Thinking Active/Passive Performance Initiative Relationship Initiative Explain how followers can become leaders by Leading Up and how leaders can develop followers to become leaders Followership is the relationship between subordinate and leader that elicits a response (behavior) from the subordinate Followership has only been studied as a discipline for about three decades – but it’s important The role of followers has evolved - followers listen to peers more than leaders Increasingly, followers will act on their own (a movement) when leaders fail to act Everyone is a follower – good leaders must know how to follow The role of follower has changed; therefore, the way leaders viewed and valued followers had to change It is critical to a leader’s success that followers be valued as partners – collaborators. Followers will act on their own (a movement) when leaders fail to act as they think they should Without a follower, you’re just the lone nut out there A leader without a follower is just out there It’s only when the first follower is convinced to come in that there is a leader A person with a goal who partners with a follower is a leader with credibility When enough followers follow, there is a tipping point At some point, if you don’t participate, you are outgrouped New followers follow followers and not the leader. Everyone is a follower – good leaders must know how to follow About 80% of leader task-time is spent following We spend so much time following that it is about time we thought about being good at it You must know how to follow before you can lead. Divided into two dimensions How do they think? (Range = Independent/Critical – Dependent/Uncritical) How much are they engaged? (Range = Active to Passive) Not engaged in workflow, but critical thinkers 15 – 25% of workers Festering sores – point out negative, no positive Cynical Do not try as hard as they could Do it “If I have to…” Self-described mavericks, just saying what others will not Many former exemplary but disgruntled Yes people. 15 – 25% of workers Carry out orders without question (can be bad – consider Nazi movement, Lt. William Calley Vietnam massacre) Very engaged 20-30% of conformists are conflict avoiders Conformists can be made exemplary by thinking critically Eh, not committed, but won’t make waves 25-35% of workforce Do not like to stick out, mediocre performers, survivors Fence riders, positive with one group, negative with another, political Self-interested, not willing to take risk Rather stick with the rules than the spirit of the rules Avoiding failure more important than risking to succeed Low engagement, uncritical thinkers 5-10% of workforce Share no characteristics of exemplary followers Sheep – look to leader for all thinking No or low enthusiasm No or low initiative Seen as lazy, unmotivated or incompetent, but many just use as a coping mechanism for supervisors who expect To improve, they need to change both dimensions or leave Sheep as Followers: Strong instinct to follow the sheep in front of them When one sheep decides to go somewhere, the rest of the flock usually follows …even if it is not a good "decision." Leadersheep Highly intelligent animals that have the ability and instinct to lead a flock home during difficult conditions Exceptional ability to sense danger. High engagement, critical thinkers, independent Innovative, self-leaders Consistent Creative Willing to stand up to superiors, loyal no-man Devil’s advocate, asks unthought of questions But, they do get along with others They want the best for the organization and seek it The most effective leader/follower relationships feel like partnerships (Potter, Rosenbach & Pittman 1996) Shared goals Assumptions Workers do not intend to fail; will do at least enough to keep their jobs Leaders do not intend to alienate their followers Followers divided into two dimensions: Performance Initiative (commitment to performance) Relationaship Initiative (commitment to develop relationships) Politician – Pays more attention to relationships than performance – the buddy sergeant (high relationship/low performance) Partner – Values relationships and performance – will use relationships to further performance (similar to exemplary follower) Subordinate – does what they are told; similar to passive follower (passive follower) Valued Contributor – works hard, quality work, but not as sensitive to relationships in the workplace (low relationship/high performance) Best ships had followers who functioned as a group Cohesion - high interaction between followers; tolerance for differences, mutual respect Below average teams had less mutual support, communication and coordination Supporting top leadership Initiative (Leading Up) Taking personal responsibility for team performance Upward Leadership Leaders need guidance from the ranks Filling the void between your subordinates and leader when there is a gap Proactive questioning Telling the truth, even when it’s painful Understanding the fate of your superior depends on your actions, as yours depends on your subordinates’ actions Do what is needed without having to be asked Anticipate your leader’s needs Build that capacity in your own subordinates Keep superiors well informed Persuade your boss when you see a better path Step up in moments where you can make a difference – especially if your boss doesn’t see the opportunity and the risks are great in missing it Serve each superior as if he/she were the only, but be clear about what you have communicated to each Press your boss for elaboration, and step into the gap is the leadership is wavering Build the foundation to allow your leader to implement policies Convey intents downwards and interests upwards Questions, thoughts or comments?