Actual Characteristics of A Leader-Follower In the 21st Century

Social IssuesRelationship

  • Author Nathaline Poquie
  • Published September 10, 2023
  • Word count 2,138


A lack of competent followers in the leadership process may obstruct organizational growth. In today's business environment, some leaders need help recognizing and engaging qualified followers in the leadership process, resulting in poor results. Aspiring leaders have no lack of resources at their disposal to help them become better leaders (Bass, 1985). One expert says they should be seen as leaders, not followers, to be great leaders. According to conventional wisdom, to achieve this, leaders should actively seek out opportunities to lead, adopt behaviors that are more commonly associated with leaders than followers, and, perhaps most importantly, demonstrate their exceptionality in comparison to their followers (Khan, Abdullah, & Busari, 2019). For better or worse, leadership is an organic process that develops from relationships between leaders and followers who share a common social grouping (Engstrom, 1979). Individuals are more effective leaders if they behave like part of the team, e.g., by sharing their values, experiences, and concerns for the betterment of the organization rather than advancing their own interests (Northhouse, 2004). Followers who share their leader's values are likelier to participate in their leadership and perform better at work (Tabak & Lebron, 2017). Engaged leaders usually support their followers' development, enabling the employees' perceptions of their leaders' involvement to increase and the employees' commitment/willingness to improve their work engagement and output (Northhouse, 2004). When leaders and followers had similar expectations for job performance, both parties were more effective in the leadership process (Khan, Abdullah, & Busari, 2019). Those in leadership positions actively involved in achieving the organization's goals usually find fulfillment in their leadership roles instead of getting used to the idea of having followers (Chemers, 2000).

What Is A Good Leader

However, it's not a one-size-fits-all definition of leadership. A researcher's perspective and the aspect of the phenomenon that interests them most determine how they define leadership (Khan, Abdullah, & Busari, 2019). Good leaders must be adjustable and workable to be effective in various work settings. Leaders need to enlist their followers' help (Northhouse, 2004). For example, the leadership styles of human resource practitioners have supported leadership by encouraging follower development levels rather than delegating, coaching, or directing. Leaders use empowering and supporting leadership styles to provide their subordinates with assistance and direction to complete their work (Engstrom, 1979). Some leaders delegated responsibilities to their followers, while others offered adequate guidance and leadership support (Northhouse, 2004). When leaders fail to entrust work to their followers, they erect a barrier that might prevent their associates from being productive (Bass, 1985). When organizational success is hampered, productive employees become disengaged when leaders fail to adapt to their working environment (Khan, Abdullah, & Busari, 2019). Executive Leadership's performance can be enhanced by collaborating with those following the leader's example and applying leadership to utilize those capable of completing tasks. Another example is when leaders need to delegate work to their followers and expect them to be productive (Northhouse, 2004). A leader's involvement in the leadership process may need to be increased to direct the organization and motivate followers, as those in leadership roles may be. Failure to adapt to the changing work environment can hurt organizational performance and disengage productive employees (Chemers, 2000).

Effective Leader-Follower Relationship

Furthermore, understanding the dynamics of the leader-follower relationship at work requires leaders to employ situational behaviors. Effective leader-follower relationships are built on shared characteristics (Northhouse, 2004). Leaders should develop adaptive leadership techniques to respond quickly and effectively to changing conditions that affect their followers (Bass, 1985). For example, examine the work-related motivations of Ghanaian bank auditors in their early thirties. Company inspiration, culture, and training typically have a minor impact on follower work motivation or performance (Chemers, 2000). Recent studies have proven that new technology and organizational cultures typically attend to the needs of today's workforce (Engstrom, 1979). Inferential leadership is the only variable that significantly affects the output of followers (Northhouse, 2004). Khan, Abdullah, and Busari (2019) say that to improve work output, leaders need to use a mix of different leadership styles and be aware of the many factors that affect follower engagement.

Additionally, leaders who rely on the support of their subordinates are more likely to succeed. When leaders fail to show interest in their followers and fail to identify those who require limited support to achieve their goals, it causes disengagement at work (Bass, 1985). Research shows that sixty-eight percent of those who showed high motivation for perceived support from leaders feel appreciated and are not directly determined by their followers' dynamic behavior (Engstrom, 1979). As a result, the followers' commitment, and willingness to serve the community increased. Depending on how each follower behaved, their commitment to their leaders might be attached to their sense of belonging to the organization because there may be some follower engagement in the leadership process (Northhouse, 2004). Even though not all followers may experience increased work engagement and job satisfaction due to the support of their leader, passive followers would benefit from a more commanding style of leadership (Khan, Abdullah, & Busari, 2019). Those with low competence needed more guidance from their leaders than those actively engaged in critical thinking (Engstrom, 1979). Leaders can get the most out of both inactive and active followers. Leaders' follower support can vary depending on how leaders interact with their followers in different work settings and how they demonstrate dominant and alternate leadership approaches (Tabak & Lebron, 2017). Participants in the leadership process may show mutual support to help leaders achieve their organization's goals. Leaders in an organization can collaborate with and identify competent followers as potential allies in the workplace (Tabak & Lebron, 2017). A good leader is one who needs to interact and motivate their team members and choose the best fifty-five to complete work duties (Khan, Abdullah, & Busari, 2019). Traditional leaders' views of followers as submissive counterparts requiring the leaders' instructions to complete work assignments are diminishing in the workplace because there is a lot of debate about how important it is for followers to be involved in leadership.


Moreover, co-creating leadership requires recognition of the critical roles that followers play in such leadership and a shift in perceptions of followers. As a result, the term "follower" has become a derogatory and often mocked term for those unwilling to accept their organization's leadership role in the management literature (Northhouse, 2004). The term "subordinate" has long been used, and that word has a negative connotation. Even more so, there has been a lot of discussion about how best to describe the follower role. It has been suggested that the term "participant" be used instead of "participant." However, some scholars believe that the word "follower" has gained legitimacy in the academic community (Khan, Abdullah, & Busari, 2019). Researchers studying leadership increasingly use the term "follower" to describe the people who follow a leader. Research on followership has not yet caught up to the volume of work done on leadership (Engstrom, 1979). Therefore, it's appropriate to look at leadership from followers. Also, remember to review this discussion of how leaders and those followers work together very profoundly (Tabak & Lebron, 2017). Researchers thinking about leadership and followership must also consider the importance of contextual and situational factors. The following and the following process are still works in progress, and there is still a lot to learn.

Historically, leadership has been a fascinating and essential part of human interactions. Studying the art of leadership has been around for a long time (Bass, 1990). For example, leadership scholars admit that leadership has existed for decades in a confused state. Leadership have a lot of meaning that sometimes it is difficult to comprehend it, no standard, working definition of leadership that addresses the fundamental, objective elements of leadership now (Engstrom, 1979). A lack of consensus on a definition has caused recent scholars to lament the current state of leadership theory. A broader view of leadership is needed than what is offered by contemporary leadership theory (Tabak & Lebron, 2017). When it comes to leadership, two or more group members work together to structure or restructure the situation and members' expectations and perceptions. The concept and practice of leadership have evolved to include a wide range of characteristics (Northhouse, 2004). A new leadership theory emerged that saw ordinary people gain power based on their abilities rather than their birthright. While leadership is the most talked about topic, there needs to be more consensus on the appropriate leadership style for a given situation or culture. When looking at leadership theories and models, it is essential to understand how they apply in different contexts and affect different outcomes (Khan, Abdullah, & Busari, 2019). As a result, the current research has attempted to address significant leadership theories, models, and products.

A quarter-century-old has developed a mindset that leaders matter greatly, and followers do not matter because there has always been a leader with a follower (Khan, Abdullah, & Busari, 2019). The changing dynamic between leaders and their subordinates has been examined to understand better and appreciate the differences among followers (Northhouse, 2004). As a result, followers' behavior is defined by doing what others want them to do. As a result, they are at the bottom of the organization. Those in higher positions are more likely to get along with them than those in lower positions. They might comply in the workplace to not jeopardize their livelihood or reputation (Tabak & Lebron, 2017). Followers yield to the community for various reasons, including preserving the group's safety and well-being or simply because it is the most straightforward course of action (Bass, 1985). History has proven that followers only sometimes follow. For example, since ordinary people became less reliant on kings and landowners in the nineteenth century, their expectations and sense of empowerment have changed (Khan, Abdullah, & Busari, 2019). It is becoming more common for followers to view themselves as independent contractors rather than mere subordinates (Tabak & Lebron, 2017). And they do so by withholding support from bad leaders, putting their weight behind good ones, and at times, claiming commanding voices for those who are lower in the organizational hierarchy. A good follower usually supports effective and ethical leaders and opposes ineffective and unethical leaders. Good followers put in the time and effort to do their tasks before making snap decisions about their leaders and supporting causes (Khan, Abdullah, & Busari, 2019).


Finally, when leaders involve their followers in their leadership, they may better understand what it takes to be effective. A leader's responsibility is to ensure their subordinates can perform at the expected level, especially when the followers are unaware of the required development (Tabak & Lebron, 2017). Some leaders' thoughts need to be transferred to achieve business growth and meet the growing expectations of clients in challenging work environments (Khan, Abdullah, & Busari, 2019). Self-evaluation of leadership effectiveness may be desirable for those in a leader-follower relationship, whether they are the leader or the follower (Northhouse, 2004). A comparable assessment may yield real significance. Congruent ratings may help to avoid unconscious bias and provide more objective reviews. Every organization has many kinds of followers, just as many kinds of leaders (Tabak & Lebron, 2017). Research industry leaders must recognize which followers are appropriate to include in leadership and decision-making processes to foster organizational growth. Leaders can overcome failure by applying proper leadership and involving their subordinates in various work environments (Bass, 1985). Until recently, followership was primarily ignored and undervalued, but this appears to be changing. Followers and followership have been ignored for decades, but they finally get the attention they deserve (Khan, Abdullah, & Busari, 2019). Leadership is widely understood to be a process involving at least two people. Scholars in leadership and followership are beginning to see that the studies of leadership's many facets and dimensions also extend to followers' analysis (Northhouse, 2004). Leaders must be familiar with their strengths and weaknesses and the strengths and weaknesses of others they will lead on their path. They will predict the pace and skill level required for success if they know the route (Tabak & Lebron, 2017). Genuinely capable leaders are conscious of the abilities and characteristics of those accompanying them on the journey, and they may use these assets to their advantage. People who study culture think Jesus of Nazareth inspired and equipped an unlikely group of disciples who, when they were at their best, changed the world and history for all time (King James, 2021).


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I am a doctoral student at a great university; this is my second time submitting a written article online, and I pray that readers will enjoy reading my article. Please leave a comment.

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