May 07, 2010

Followership

Last night, I had an opportunity to influence my friend¡¦s thought but¡K

I found that interesting that Paul taught us to use statistical control chart analyzing the variations of being late so I shared with my friend when we were chatting. There are common causes and special causes that could affect us being late. However, special causes are unpredictable. So, we need to reduce the common causes which would affect our capability of being on time. Being on time also shows the respects to the lecturer, and the colleagues. It is about the attitude.

However, my friend argued that one of his friends always skips classes in a master programme. According to my friend, his friend just needs the degree and does not care about the classes. My friend thinks that not all classes will benefit students. While we are sitting in the class, his friend makes hundreds of pounds just by making some phone calls. He said that his friend could learn and write the essays by himself afterwards. If one could ¡§utilize¡¨ his/her time, why attending class on time or even attending class, according to him.

I told him that the example of his friend is ¡§special¡¨ (cause) whereas most full-time masters students intend to learn instead of making money.

Then he brought up cultural issues. He said that the 2 pm meeting in Brazil actually means starting at 3 pm. He went on, ¡§if you do not know their culture, what is the point of being on time?¡¨ Again, I told him that the example of Brazilian time practice is just one culture whereas we have hundreds of nationalities in the globe. If we say 2 pm, universal concept is exactly 2 pm, isn¡¦t it?

I tried to reason him that his friend and Brazilian culture are special cases and the key was people¡¦s attitude towards being on time at work, class or any meeting with friends. However, his conclusion was: I will attend classes on time but I do not care if my colleague is late because they have rights to utilize their time and we should respect other cultures.

I had an opportunity to influence my friend¡¦s thought but I failed.

What if I am the leader and he is my follower?

What is the relationship between leadership and followership?

I slept with two unsolved questions with me last night.

Coincidentally, the top two seminar topics we choose this morning were followership related. I am looking forward to explore the ways to influence their followers. Conversely, how to be a follower by other leaders is worthwhile discovering too. Unless we establish our own company, the leaders (e.g. line managers or project managers) also are led by other leaders (e.g. programme managers and top management team).

Areas of improvement: to influence people effectively


- 2 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Hi Julia, I found your blog quite interesting to read. Not being able to influence one person doesn’t not necessarily make one a bad or ineffective leader. there are many ways you can influence people and with some, you can’t influence them directly. A strategy which one can use is to identify the people who have an influence over this person and if you manage to influence one of them, you can use that person as a tool to influence the other.

    But in your blog, you have raised a key point about influencing – individuals are influenced differently and as a leader, you must get close enough to your followers to know what ‘buttons’ to press but not too close that you start being a follower yourself. I make the last point point about not being too close because I was listening to guy talk about leadership where he made the point that as a leader, you must learn to seperate from the crowd. He gave the example: if you have a group of guys watching a football match and something happens, people tend to go with the general concensus of the crowd but if you take one of the guys out of the group and show him the same scenario, he would be embarassed to behave as he did before….this story was told to illustrate that whilst in a group, people don’t think…so as a leader, don’t get too close that you fall into this trap, but get close enough so that you know what buttons to press to influence individuals

    08 May 2010, 17:05

  2. In my definition, the words, “leader” and “follower” are conspicuous by their absence. In current organisational culture, the hierarchical structure largely has given way to team structures with more than one leader. I believe that in any leadership relationship, followers become leaders and leaders become followers depending on the situation. and this makes them just “people/team/culture”.

    11 May 2010, 01:25


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