This paper aims to position leadership as a relationship between leader and follower, and suggests ways that leaders can develop the relationship as a day‐to‐day activity.
Uses current thinking on “followership” as a perspective, and draws on the author's practical experiences of leadership as an army officer.
Argues that the leader/follower relationship requires continuous work day‐to‐day to engage and create trust to align effort towards goals. Leaders need to work hard at listening and understanding other people's desires, issues and stories, and to be clear when sharing important messages with other people, so that communication is effective. In addition, argues that effective leaders choose to follow at times, in order to deepen the level of trust and engagement within the relationship. Advances the view that to follow is, in fact, an act of leadership.
Emphasizes that leadership is a collective, rather than individual, phenomenon. Leaders therefore should not be seen in isolation from their followers.
Reinforces the power that the follower, as well as the leader, has in the leader/follower relationship.
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