According to Robert Kelley, effective followers possess essential qualities:

  • “They manage themselves well.”
  • “They are committed to the organization and to a purpose, principle, or person outside themselves.”
  • “They build their competence and focus their efforts for maximum impact.”
  • “They are courageous, honest, and credible.”

Excerpted from: In Praise of Followers

According to Business News Daily Editor, there are seven important followership skills.

  • “Motivation: A good follower is motivated to work hard, do a good job and achieve results. This type of person is driven by the goal of finishing a job.”
  • “Courage: Someone with followership skills has the courage to confront their leader with the problems they see with the person in charge.”
  • “Service: A follower must see themselves as someone who serves others rather than the priority or the reason something is happening.”
  • “Dedication: A good follower is dedicated to their leader. A follower can be loyal and committed to their leader while maintaining judgment and honesty.”
  • “Work ethic: Someone who is a good follower is also a good worker. This person is motivated and committed, and pays attention to the details of the business. This person shows up every day ready to work.”
  • “Good judgment: It is important for a follower to take direction, but they must consider what is being asked of them. To have good judgment, a person must understand the difference between following directions and knowing which instructions are not ethical. That person must be able to say no to something.”
  • “Honesty: As a follower, one makes a commitment to be honest. A follower must understand that while being honest, they also must be polite and respect the people they work with. A follower must be able to provide constructive feedback.”

Excerpted from: The Art of Followership: How to Be an Invaluable Team Player

In Priya Kane’s article, “Leading by Following: The Importance of Followership for Organizational Success,” she cites seven essential qualities and skills of effective followers including:

  1. “Active participation and engagement”
  2. “Proactive self-management”
  3. “Independent, critical thinking”
  4. “Adaptability”
  5. “Trust and commitment”
  6. “Courage and honesty”
  7. “Acting as a team player”

Excerpted from: Leading by Following: The Importance of Followership for Organizational Success

In Rob Asghar’s article, “Why Followership is Now More Important Than Leadership” (2016), he offers five tips to being a more skilled and generous follower including:

  1. “Stop being a consumer, and start being a producer.”
  2. “Listen and affirm.”
  3. “Sit still, already.”
  4. “Give generous but honest feedback.”
  5. “See it as a dance where skilled and gracious followers can help the leader be a better dancer.”

Excerpted from: Why Followership Is Now More Important Than Leadership

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