The best leaders are also great followers

Doing a self-assessment, do you feel more like a leader or a follower? Do you find it difficult to discern between the two and feel yourself in the shoes of both?

Why so much difference?

In reality, leadership and followership are an indissoluble binomial: leaders must have followers and followers must have a leader. If you want to be a great leader, you must first become a great follower and all the best leadership lessons can be learned only through direct experience as a follower.

Let’s find out how!

The eight characteristics of the exemplary follower

To understand what has been said and to know if you are an exemplary follower, do a simple test on your role as a follower, with questions that reflect the eight characteristics listed below.

Organizational understanding

Do you know the vision and mission of your organization?

Do you know how to do your job to the best of your ability to achieve the common Objectives and key results – OKRS of the team or organization you belong to?


How do you rate your commitment?

Would you accept to be entrusted to carry out your task at any time, in any place and to remain there for all the time necessary to complete the work properly and correctly?


Are you able to execute orders?

Although obedience can be a politically incorrect concept, it is essential for organizational effectiveness. No one should be allowed to give orders unless he is able to obey orders. This is how great leaders shape their followers with acceptable standards of behavior.


Can you serve others and the common cause?

This is crucial. Great followers know how to serve. They note what needs to be done to help the leader achieve his goals. Then they do it with joy, without grumbling or complaining.

Even if you are already the leader of a team or an entire organization, everyone has a leader, including you. A great follower not only accepts this fact, but also embraces it.


Are you an adaptable type?

Because of new technologies of Workboard software, training and evolving levels of responsibility, can you remain flexible? Because the only constant in life is change, resisting change can only lead to frustration.

Communication skills

What is your communication skills?

A follower must be able to communicate effectively. Whether you are offering suggestions or explaining to colleagues why things are done in a certain way, communication is essential for teamwork and mission accomplishment.


Are you trustworthy, the same one you expect from your leader?

Trust is a cornerstone of both followership and leadership. But trust is fragile. It may take months or years to earn it, but a single mistake may be enough to destroy it.


Are you loyal to your leader and your team?

A follower and exemplary never speaks badly of his leader in public. This does not mean that he cannot disagree or even criticize. It just means that it doesn’t do it in public. An exemplary follower understands that public loyalty leads to private influence.

If you answered “Yes” to at least six of these questions, including the last one, then you are on your way to being an effective follower.


If you notice well, the eight features, or traits, above are crucial as they express some basis for being an effective leader.

Effective followership is a very important bridge to becoming an effective leader.

If you want to be a great leader then, start asking yourself:

“How can I be a better follower?” “How can I make my boss more effective?”

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