followers Essay

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Followers plan an active role in the process of leadership. By being a follower, it does not mean that one is inferior to a leader, but that they simply play a different role. Webster’s dictionary defines follow as to come or occur after, but it does not necessarily imply a causal relationship with what goes before. A follower is part of the team. A quarterback cannot win the game without the efforts of the entire team. He can throw or run the ball but without his team members blocking, he will not make the touch down. Much like a game, team players are imperative to the success of the organization.
There are five different types of followers as stated by Frisina (2005) in the article Learn to Lead by Following. The types of followers
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Leaders may need “yes people” to carry out certain tasks, but the majority of leaders would rather have an honest opinion when asking for it.
“Sheep people” are those types of followers who never have an opinion. They follow the “herd” and never stray. Even if they feel that something is not right, they tend to follow and never state that there might be a problem. Sheep have a strong instinct to follow the leader, and this behavior can make handling easier. They must be able to see a pathway of escape, and should be able to see other sheep moving in front of them. Physiologically, sheep respond to stress with increased heart rates. If stress is severe enough, elevated cortisol levels, increase feed requirements and reduces immunity. Stress may, therefore, adversely influence their well-being. Much like sheep, these type followers need a leader. Without a leader there is confusion, disorganization, and undefined goals. Under stress some people eat more, drink or smoke. In recent years medical research has proven that stress has a negative effect on our immune system. Much like sheep, these type followers’ ideal position is to remain with or behind their coworkers and out of stressful or confrontational issues.
A survivor is someone who always follows the norm. They look to how others act in similar situations and they follow them, as in behavior modeling. A survivor will model successful actions, roles, and behaviors based on the way others act.

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