Followership is not a dirty word. In fact, it is one of the most beautiful words in our language. Followership is not about being a second rate or second class citizen. It’s about being humble, being teachable, and having the self-awareness to realize that you don’t know it all. Most importantly, followership is that rare trait where you put your own demands aside for the greater good. We hear a great deal about leadership, but the truth is there can be no leadership without tremendous followership.
Albert Schweitzer said, “I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.” Followership has its heart and head in serving; about realizing that we are all interconnected in this vast human race and that we need each other in innumerable ways.
Show me the type of follower you are today and I’ll tell you type of leader you’ll be tomorrow. When you learn that leadership and followership are the flip side of the same coin, you’ll be able to be of the best use to your friends, family, and organization in any set of circumstances. Best of all, you won’t have to wonder if you’re a leader; you’ll instinctively know you’ve become one.
Learn more about the art of followership in the new book A Message to Millennials: What Your Parents Didn't Tell You and Your Employer Needs You to Know.