To be a successful follower
It is easy to answer the question 'do you have to be a follower before you become a leader'. Yes, definitely. However, this question can be divided into two layers. One is how to become an effective follower, and the other is how an effective follower becomes an effective leader.
Before I came to UK, I never have a chance to become a leader in company, because our company¡¯s culture regards professional skills and age as the major criteria to choose a leader. Young generation criticizes about this structure, some have to leave this company seeking more chances. I am one of them expecting improving my knowledge structure and broaden my vision, but I got a lot of experience to observe all kinds of leader both successful and unsuccessful. I learn a lot from their behavior. From the cooperation with them and the knowledge I learned from here, there are some of my opinions to become an effective follower.
You have to change youself from dependent follower to independent follower, and then to interdependent follower. In order to fulfill this objective, firstly you¡¯d better to be proactive. Try to think about the end in your mind at the beginning, and do important thing first. After you become an independent follower, if you want to influence others, you have to consider about win-win result and understand others first, and then let youself be understood.
It is simple to say it, but hard to carry out. In western culture, people are eager to express their ideas, so they always keep talking and are aggressive to force others to agree. Seldom listen to others, it will happy to us when we are talking. In eastern culture, people always avoid conflicts, they are intended to keep silence all the time, this is a kind of passive mind.