February 19, 2012

Followership Challenge

I am tempted to term Friday’s leadership challenge exercise as a “one eyed man leading a group of blind people”. How easy a task is it? How difficult can it be? What challenges does the one eyed man face while leading? How does the blind group believe they are being led well? These were the questions that came to mind when I was reflecting on Friday’s session.

The setting started with only the leader having an understanding of what the task ahead was. The first challenge manifested while the leader was trying to relay the task to the followers. For us the followers, it wasn’t any easier trying to understand the task through our leader. This setting ignited my thought process and I felt we all should have been briefed at the same time. This would obviously eliminate the problem that arose while the leader was relaying the task to the followers. On the other hand, I asked myself what the role of a leader would be should that be the case.

How then do we eliminate this followership challenge? My take on this issue is striking a balance on information dissemination. A situation where all followers are privy to certain information which would reduce how much information the leader has to pass down the ladder. This not only reduces communication challenges, it also saves time and is bound to increase effectiveness. Should companies buy this idea, I believe that the results would gradually eliminate followership challenges.

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  1. Paul Roberts

    Hi Tega, The Leadershiop Challenge was supposed to replicate what happens all too often – only one person, the leader or the boss, has the facts and the followers spend much of their time in the dark, unable to contribute very effectively because of the lack of information passed to them. Hopefully, having experienced this exercise as a follower (one of the team members) you will always remember what your future employees will feel if you do not give them the information they need to make sense of the tasks that they are assigned to do.

    19 Apr 2012, 11:25

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