Most studies tend to focus on the importance of developing strong leaders in order to have success in an organization. However, it has long been recognized that it takes both good leaders and good followers to achieve greater success.
Oftentimes, we associate the word follower with being weak, passive and dependent to leaders. However, strong followers can be just as important as strong leaders. That is why it is important to encourage followers to think like leaders. Followers that are independent and proactive are usually the ones who we always find on top. Followers that can identify to follow their instinct rather than to simply follow directions they do not fully understand. Strong followers can give their full support to their leader if they agree on their decisions and propositions, and if they do not agree they have the confidence to challenge the leader and provide alternatives and suggestions. They are not afraid to speak their mind because they know that both they and their leaders have the same goal: creating success for the organization.
Followers, as such, can be considered leaders in disguise. Even without a title or position, these individual can influence their team to follow. They have the influence to be heard.
Strong leaders require a solid foundation of strong followers. Strong followers know how to lead themselves and those around them.
Therefore, it is vital to develop our followers to be independent and strong, as well as encourage them to contribute their own ideas. This can lead to a positive partnership that will create a bigger success.