Are You a Courageous Follower?

| April 5, 2013 | 0 Comments

Businesses, governments, all of our institutions, need more courageous followers- a lot more. Followership demands that we are accountable, not just for ourselves, but for the organizations and institutions in which we reside. To be a courageous follower requires trust. Trust in ourselves and trust in those around us. Building trust within ourselves and with others requires hard work and risk. I am on a long journey of developing who I am, and as I do so, I build trust in myself. Without that foundation, I would have a hard time trusting the outside world.

In 1995 Ira Chaleff authored, The Courageous Follower, Standing Up To and For Our Leaders. It is now in its third edition. I have the original, dog-eared and highlighted with a yellowing dust jacket. Whatever edition, leaders and aspiring leaders should have this book. It is timely and filled with great wisdom about how to create lasting, dynamic relationships between leaders and followers.

Chaleff outlines five dimension of courageous followership:

1. The courage to assume responsibility

2. The courage to serve

3. The courage to challenge

4. The courage to participate in transformation

5. The courage to leave

Over the years, when I think of those individuals that I have and had great respect for, they are courageous followers. Individuals who are committed to the common goal; they have the leaders back when tough decisions have to be made, they work hard, they stand up, albeit sometimes alone, when something is not right. They are open to and adept at change and they have the courage to leave, when that is the right answer.

Think of the courageous followers in your life. We owe them our gratitude.

May you always be a Courageous Follower,



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Category: Accountability, Blog, Leadership


About the Author ()

Julia Hill-Nichols, SPHR, is the founder of LeadersCove, LLC. With over 30 years experience in operations and human capital management, Julia is gifted in the art and science of bridging strategic imperatives and a company’s human capabilities—executing for success, meeting bottom-line objectives and enlivening the people who are the organization’s lifeblood.

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