The Follower

I think an important part of leadership is missing in all the books, articles, and lectures on the subject. It’s the part about your experience as a leader and follower simultaneously. You are a leader and follower at the same time.

If you know me at all, you have heard or read my definition of leadership. Being a leader means you have one or more followers. That’s a leader. Period.

But it’s just as true that you are a follower of someone else, too. No matter your title or station or position in life, you follow someone. You listen to another person and try to do what they say. That’s a follower. Period.

We err when we assume that being a leader and follower at the same time is something confined to what we used to call “middle management.” No, I’m sorry to have to say that all leaders are also followers.

How about a new word, something like leaderfollower?

Maybe I should do more with this. We’ll see.