Project #81725 - 2 - Post Responses - Due today help?

Two posts - respond to these 2 posts:

#1

I agree that good followership is key to good leadership.  In my current experience, I was a follower to a leader that the relationship began as the ideal dream team however went south, sort to speak.  At the beginning of a new business expansion, this leader handpicked his management team for various reasons.  (Some for talent and some for his own personal liking, but that’s another topic) The majority of the selected members’ possessed strong personalities were critical thinkers and independent while others were new to their role therefore the opposite. 

In the first year of business, the relationship between the leader and followers could be described as unified, strong, the perfect team any company would dream of.  The management group worked well together and was comfortable with challenging each other’s thought processes to engage in healthy debates.  Our leader encouraged this interaction.  He was quite proud of the accomplishments that were achieved thus far. 

Somewhere in his pride, he became demanding, over delegating tasks that were at times unreasonable.  When his directives were questioned, he became immediately defensive and felt he was not required to help us understand his methodologies but to just do it.  He began taking credit of his managers’ accomplishments without recognizing the efforts of his team.  This of course did not sit too well with exemplary type followers. More and more his true nature came to light.  He started to become the narcissistic leader described in the article by Maccoby, M. (2004)

The beauty of the perfect team was beginning to fade.  In your discussion you state, “…followers who depict a negative attitude towards their leaders caused those leaders to treat them negatively. As such, followers who are willing to support their leaders help to bring for the good relationships and leadership.”

The negative attitude towards this leader is happening and just like in your statement, the leader is returning the feelings.  The operation is falling apart and the once dream team are now attacking each other.  How do we salvage the relationship that was once seen as perfect?  Do we as followers conform to the unrealistic demands of a narcissistic leader, just to make him happy?  Would this bring back the perfection we once had?  At this point, we are conforming to keep our jobs but the majority is looking for outside opportunities.  I see the leader-follower relationships like the question, “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?”  Who is truly responsible for the outcome of the relationship; who is the true influencer, the leader or the followers?  Are we bad followers because we began to challenge our leader’s motives?

 

Help!

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#2

While everyone expects a leader within a business to deliver positive end results, he/she would never get to the finish line without a team of skilled followers. A leader is there to delegate work to specific people who are subject-experts in order for a specific project to be completed, while also helping these followers develop professionally. Followers can actually help their leaders become more effective by making sure to never become a yes man.

            Barry Johnson (2011) explains that as followers, if we are always just blindly following our leader’s orders we are not doing anybody any good. For example, at my current institution we had a situation with the way user accounts are built. We had been following the regular order of things in which any type of employee would build out any type of user’s account. A small group of us started talking about how there has to be a better way to get this done. After a few weeks of brainstorming, we suddenly had a document put together which we then presented to all of the managers and directors complete with statistics. We wanted to show them that if a user with a specific build was actually created by an employee that worked with those types of users all of the time, we wouldn’t see as many errors. After some back and forth with them over the distribution of work per team, we finally got them to agree and it has been a success. By providing our leaders an alternative to how things had been getting done, we were empowering them to lead more effectively.

            Following a leader can become a bit more difficult when you don’t necessarily admire that specific person. Cox, Plagens, and Silla explain that the bond between a follower and a leader are formed by keeping promises made, and showing concern and compassion for any needs they may have, among other things (2010). For instance, let’s say someone’s boss agreed to give their employee a raise by the end of the year, but then due to a “tight budget” is unable to. It would make it very difficult for the follower to not lose a bit of respect for their boss after an incident like this. Unfortunately, the best thing for the follower to do in this case would be to keep his/her head down and continue working hard. While the manager may have made a promise when he/she shouldn’t have, the employee needs to understand that there are a lot of factors that determine how money is distributed within an organization. The leader, on the other hand, can follow some instructions to support their employee better.

One thing a leader can do in order to support their followers is to take a more hands-off approach with them (if appropriate). I know I dislike being micromanaged, and I don’t think I’m in the minority with that opinion. By allowing an employee to try to find their own solutions to a problem, you are creating a more knowledgeable and independent follower. It also has the added benefit of freeing up some time for the leader to use on other duties (Johnson, 2011). Another way a leader can empower their employees is to be flexible in their management style (Cox, et al., 2010). While I am not a fan of micromanaging, I work with one colleague who likes to have that sense of security that they’re not forgetting anything important. Their manager understands this, and keeping that in mind will check in on them from time to time to see how they’re doing on specific projects.

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Due By (Pacific Time) 09/11/2015 05:00 pm
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