Home > In the Workplace > Are You a Leader or a Follower?

Are You a Leader or a Follower?

By: Anna Martin - Updated: 7 Dec 2012 | comments*Discuss
Leadership Leader Follower Skills

Understanding, and accepting, your natural skills will enable you to figure out how to increase your knowledge and expertise. Some of us have leadership potential, whilst other individuals may find they are more competent and confident followers. Acknowledging which title best defines you and your abilities will therefore empower you to work to your strengths.

Common Stereotypes

A person who rules or guides others is known as a leader. This person may also possess good motivational skills. A follower or team player, on the other hand, is an individual who accepts the leadership of another person. A common stereotype of these roles however, is that a leader is someone who is in charge of a team or situation or is simply an individual who is seen as being higher up in the hierarchy. A more appropriate definition of a leader would be someone who makes the final decision.

Leadership Qualities

Leadership is a process and not a position. In order to take charge of a situation it is important that the individual in charge is able to motivate and inspire others. The necessary skills required to do this should also be complemented by the charisma to persuade others to work towards achieving success. Within a team of followers however, there may be a number of leaders who help set direction and commitment to a project, and help create a focus for alignment.

Natural leaders are confident people who draw other people towards them with ease. Having good interpersonal skills is beneficial, as too is having the confidence to be socially assertive and the flexibility to adapt to any situation.

A Follower’s Mindset

Followers may be as skilled, motivated, competent, confident and knowledgeable as a leader but may find they prefer to take action from request rather than inspire and persuade others to do so. Followers may also enjoy contributing within a team of individuals, or working to create impact in other ways, without having to be responsible for outcome.

Carrying Responsibility

Managing a course of action according to the situation is an effective way of utilising a number of important key skills. As a leader you are expected to motivate others to complete tasks or projects. You are also expected to carry responsibility if this is not achieved successfully.

A leader is also responsible for influencing others and inspiring them to develop their skills and abilities. Followers, on the other hand, need to know that their individual contribution is valued. This means that a leader must not sabotage a follower’s efforts in any way, but offer praise for tasks that are completed successfully.

Important Considerations

If you are a leader it is important that your followers are able to trust you. If other people have confidence in your judgment your leadership skills will continue to grow. Your success is considerably impaired however, if followers feel there are discrepancies between how you view yourself and the knowledge and experience that you share with them as a leader. Ensuring you continue to develop leadership skills, through feedback from your team of followers, will enable a leader to motivate and inspire with renewed confidence.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • shopa
    Re: Benefits of Leadership
    When was the first time to publish this topic, please?
    29 April 2020
  • Bev
    Re: Effective Leadership and the Credit Crunch
    I am studying Political Leadership and would appreciate receiving your suggestions as to good resources for…
    2 January 2020
  • MSY
    Re: A Youth Leader
    just read the para for winning the owlympia...
    5 December 2019
  • XShazzabbyX
    Re: The Importance of Ethics in Leadership
    what would you define a manager that possesses qualities of both a leader and manager? if theyre both, surely they…
    22 October 2019
  • tommyT
    Re: A Sports Team Captain
    VERY Helpful..i was struggling with sports captain witch i needed for me assessment feel like from just reading this i could become a…
    5 September 2019
  • Mervin
    Re: A Sports Team Captain
    Thank you for your tips...and it made me to realize the importants of captaincy..
    18 August 2019
  • Danny
    Re: A Sports Team Captain
    It was very helpful for me as I got selected for the sports captain
    23 June 2019
  • journeytoleadershipb
    Re: The Importance of Assertive Leadership
    Great article! We tend to talk about confidence in leadership more than we talk about assertiveness. In your…
    28 April 2019
  • Taiman
    Re: A Political Leader
    This article is super dope. I have searched for so much on leadership, but political leadership discussion of this type has created and…
    25 July 2018
  • LeadershipExpert
    Re: A Political Leader
    Cutey - Your Question:Nice article and it is very useful too may I know who is the author of this article?
    2 July 2018