May 10, 2010

the power of follower

In the interest of integrating last article, I share some of my experience.

People in followers' position always feel reluctant to influence their leaders, so do I. I think I worked short period, do not obtain enough professional experience. When team leader distribute tasks and discuss solutions, I seldom express my ideas. This make middle managers regard me as taciturn man and lower work efficiency. I do not know this until I leave the job. Actually, followers generally have three kinds of power. The first one is skills and talents in professional field, which I mentioned before. The second is to persuade leaders to approve your opinions by means of desired outcome. The third is your position which can make information flow or organize a network of relationship.

Nowadays there exists a perspective 'managing leaders'. When I am working, managers arranged tasks to me in disordered sequence, because they never ever adopt project management ways. They always follow the rule first come first done. I found that if I work in the sequence of their arrangement, sometimes I am fairly busy and sometimes I have nothing to do. So it is important to ask managers their schedule and goal, and then I can arrange the important tasks first rather than the emergent tasks.

We always care too much about ourselves, therefore we often ask managers what we can improve. However, we never consider how to help managers to be good managers. Ask them for advices, and make them think you value their advice. Do not try to deceive them and criticize them behind, sometimes disagreeing their opinion make them trust you more. As a follower it does not mean less power, we can depend of surrounding people not only boss but also colleagues.

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