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Leadership and followership
Leadership and followership

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4.2 Advice for followers

For a follower on the receiving end of poor leadership, she has this advice:

  • Make bad leaders pay for their transgressions.
  • Find allies.
  • Develop your own sources of information – don’t rely on information provided by your leader.
  • Take collective action e.g. get a small group together to talk to the boss.
  • Be a watchdog.
  • Hold leaders to account.

Some of these actions won’t be easy, and you’ll need to adapt them according to your context – but Kellerman’s key message is don’t let them get away with it. Whether your action is to discuss the issue directly with your boss or to escalate things appropriately, followers play a crucial role in leadership and business success, and this includes when your leader is failing.

You’ll look in more detail at followership and its close links with leadership in Week 5.

In this section, you’ve considered common leadership mistakes and possible solutions. In the next section, you’ll explore some of the key skills that a leader requires if they are to recognise their mistakes and improve their poor leadership.