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June 2012 - Leadership and Followership Development

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John A. Kline, PhD jkline@klinespeak.com
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Dr. John KlineIndividuals can learn to lead and they can learn to follow. Leadership Development Programs should focus on teaching both leadership and followership.

Followership is an essential function of leadership. Many times leaders must be followers. The CEO or leader of a company may be a member of the finance committee at a local church, a member of the board of directors at a bank, a volunteer worker at a local nonprofit agency, and a spousal partner leading a family. Even at work, the CEO often answers to a board of directors and to an extent, shareholders, and other stakeholders.

Many people move back and forth between the roles of followership and leadership and may find themselves in situations where everyone just “pitches in to get things done.” Effective leadership development programs prepare followers to assume—and even pursue—leadership roles for which they possess the Knowledge, Skills, and Attitudes (KSA’s) to serve and positively transform both the organization and people in the organization.

Our ABC priorities for the leadership minor at Troy University are:

  • Accomplish the mission—teach KSA’s to prepare future leaders and followers.

  • Be there for students—provide student-centered instruction, help, and concern.

  • Create leaders—develop, mentor, help, encourage, and transform students.

We invest money, time, and other resources in our students. But we do more. We seek to be servant leaders who seek not to be served, but to serve; so that as students learn more about leading they understand leadership and followership are not at opposite ends of the pole, but function as joint endeavors in life.

John Kline
Montgomery, Alabama

June 2012 - Leadership and Followership Development
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