Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Sometimes you just need to follow

I've been reading a lot about Leadership with a capital "L" and what it means and how you develop qualities that make people good Leaders.

But what makes a good follower? Do we need lessons in becoming good Followers? What are the key qualities to develop in order to reach your highest following potential? Here are some I'm considering:

1. Don't ask questions. Questions interrupt the flow of the Leader's directions. S/he's already told you everything you need to know.
2. Don't speak. Talking will just slow everything down. It's okay to say "yessir" or "yessym" or "understood" but conversation isn't really encouraged.
3. Listen hard. Instructions will be given to you. When you don't know which of the conflicting orders to follow, choose the last one you were given. If you are wrong, more instructions will be given, and in a louder voice.
4. Wait. Moving ahead to the next task too early is not allowed. Sometimes this means you will have nothing meaninful to do. Use that time for self-reflection.
5. Keep your ideas to yourself. When it is time to share, you'll be allowed to do that in groups of 3 to 5 and everyone will have a turn. You may have an opportunity to stand up and tell the whole group what you discussed, but remember that it's rude to report anything that you, personally shared.
6. Relax. As a follower, you aren't expected to worry about anything.

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