The Difference Between Leadership and Followership

759 Words Feb 21st, 2012 4 Pages
Explain the difference between followership and leadership
As you have all learned from leadership classes, all leaders are followers, but not all followers are leaders. One of the biggest differences that separate leaders from followers is the fact that many leaders have charisma. Many followers have charisma, although it may be stifled because they are not in a proper position to utilize it. Charisma, by my own definition, is the compelling attractiveness or charm that enables you to influence large numbers of people. Charismatic leaders use their charm to accomplish large tasks that may seem impossible for the typical leader. Charismatic leaders set goals that they know will be difficult for their followers to achieve. Therefore, they
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The simple answer is that Jim Jones was one of the most charismatic leaders of our time. Like all charismatic leaders, Jones ' greatest asset was his ability to determine what his followers wanted to hear and give it to them. It was not necessarily what he was saying that grabbed his follower’s attention, but they way in which he spoke it. He spoke in simple language that appealed to them on every intellectual level. He maintained eye contact with his audience. He made use of nonverbal language when he used hand gestures and vivid expressions. All of these tied into his charisma and image. It is no wonder that he is credited to having 11,000 members in his cult.
Although Jim Jones obviously is not remembered well, I have a certain respect for him. The fact that one man could successfully control so many people is mind-boggling. Especially considering that doomsday cults do not often reach large numbers. In recent times, Jonestown and its leader Jim Jones are now iconic warnings to the dangers of cults and cult leaders.
Consider yourself: Are you a leader or a follower? If you consider yourself a leader or one with the potential to lead, you must secondly consider your level of charisma. Recognize that if you possess a certain measure of charm and allure, you hold the power to influence. You must use integrity and honesty with this influence;
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