The Follower Is A Key Component Of The Leadership Balance

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The Follower is a key component of the leadership balance, playing a key role in the leadership process (Baker 2007). The leadership process is affected by the expectations, capabilities, maturity, enthusiasm and personality traits of followers. Followers can be grouped into two groups, active followers who are independent, critical thinkers and passive followers who are dependant and un-critical thinkers (Kelley 1992). Mr. S has a combination of followers, ranging from highly active followers to passive. Mr S does little to understand the needs of his followers. This is an important omission, as without understanding and then meeting the needs of their followers, leaders are less able to influence their follower’s behaviour over the long term (Maslow 1954, cited in Hughes, Ginnett & Curphy 2015, p. 341) There has been a conflict develop between two of Mr. S’s direct reports. This has been allowed to brew for over a year with the end result being the two reports refusing to work together and many passive aggressive comments and ‘water cooler’ rumours being allowed to run rampant. These two followers occupy positions that need to work closely for the good of the organisation. It has been clear to all that this is not happening and someone needs to step in and resolve it. Figure 1: Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (Source: Maslow 1954, cited in Hughes, Ginnett & Curphy 2015, p. 341) As Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (Maslow 1954, cited in Hughes, Ginnett & Curphy 2015, p. 341)
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