Academic journal article Manager

Effective 'Followership' How to Manage Upwards

Academic journal article Manager

Effective 'Followership' How to Manage Upwards

Article excerpt

Management literature often places a lot of emphasis on leadership; its characteristics, how to develop it and how to harness it. Recently however, there has been a gradual understanding that leadership is not one-dimensional. Effective followership, is as, if not more so, an important quality to cultivate in the workplace.

What is followership? Followership can also be referred to as 'managing upwards' or 'leading from the middle'. It can be considered as a willingness to cooperate in working towards the accomplishment of the group mission, to demonstrate a high degree of teamwork and to build cohesion within relationships of authority. Effective followership is an excellent tool for managing your career and is a key building block towards effective leadership. While there are numerous sources to which one can turn to find helpful information on effective leadership, fewer such sources exist on guiding one to be an effective follower, though there are some. 'The power of followership: How to create leaders people want to follow and followers who lead themselves' by Robert E, Kelley lists the following attributes as defining exemplary followership.

* Think for themselves

* Go above and beyond the job

* Support the team and the leader

* Focus on the goal

* Do an exceptional job on critical path activities related to the goal

* Take initiative on increasing their value to the organisation

* Realise they add value by being who they are, their experiences and ideals

* Structure their daily work and day-to-day activities

* See clearly how their job relates to the enterprise

* Put themselves on the critical path toward accomplishment

* Make sure the tasks they are to perform are on the critical path

* Review their progress daily or weekly

* Increase their scope of critical path activities

* Develop additional expertise

* Champion new ideas. …

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