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.
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According to Business News Daily Editor, there are seven important followership skills.
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- 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.
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:
- Active participation and engagement
- Proactive self-management
- Independent, critical thinking
- Trust and commitment
- Courage and honesty
- Acting as a team player
Read More: 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:
- Stop being a consumer, and start being a producer.
- Listen and affirm.
- Sit still, already.
- Give generous but honest feedback.
- See it as a dance where skilled and gracious followers can help the leader be a better dancer.
Read More: Why Followership is now more important that Leadership