Commentary

May 17, 2013

Followership key to being a leader

Lt. Col. James Blackman
56th Component Maintenance Squadron Commander

Maybe you played “follow the leader” at school during recess or in some neighbor’s yard down the street. It’s a fun game, requires no expensive equipment and can be played indoors or outdoors – just about anywhere. But the game only works if you actually follow the leader, and everyone else in line, well … stays in line. It’s an early test of your followership skills … are you any good at “follow the leader?”

What comes to mind when you hear the word “followership”? Do you think back to your last course in PME and recall it as something to do with leadership? Maybe an instructor once told you something like “followership is one of the key building blocks to being a good leader.” Or maybe a more philosophical mentor said you must first be a good follower before you can be a good leader.

When I think of followership, I think of words like loyalty and trust. These two words help add depth to what a follower is or is not. A follower must be loyal to the boss and more than that, a follower must be loyal to the organization and the overall mission. However, loyalty isn’t the only thing needed, trust is needed too. You have to trust the leader in order to follow.

True loyalty always requires your critical thinking, a level of mental involvement in the “game” so you don’t just hang on for the ride, we need to have our eyes wide open so we can contribute and add our own piece. Critical thinking will sometimes lead us to think the leader is going the wrong way or making a bad decision. Here is where loyalty and trust work together; your loyalty should drive you to express your concern in the appropriate manner to the leader; present your viewpoint, based on your critical thinking and not raw emotion. Once you present your view and the boss doesn’t change their decision; now your level or trust will be tested. What you do right then is what I think is at the heart of true followership.

So what is followership? It can be summarized in one short statement:
You own your bosses decisions – it’s no longer their decision – it is now yours!

So ask yourself; how good are you at “follow the leader?”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
140805-F-LW839-135cropped

Ramping up …

An F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter prepares to land Aug. 5 at Luke Air Force Base. This is the fifth F-35 aircraft currently assigned to the 61st Fighter Squadron with more on the way before the end of the year.
 
 

Contract signed to improve base for years to come

Being the largest fighter wing in the Air Force has its costs. Everything from school quality, the local economy, crime rates, traffic and climate, to on-base amenities, such as commissaries, are assessed to determine the best Air Force bases in the US. In order to keep the living standards high for all Airmen at Luke...
 
 

Knocking it out of park means excellence

Over the past several years the Defense Department has seen an unprecedented reduction in force. Twenty years ago when I was a young Airman learning the Air Force ropes, our active-duty force was more than 421,000 strong. Today, our end strength stands at just over 323,000 Airmen, a reduction of roughly 100,000 personnel. Because of...
 

 

Gut check: Where do you stand?

Since the beginning of our Air Force careers, the majority of us have been taught that in order to lead, we need to lead by example and lead from the front. Today, that has not changed. However, as we all know, it is virtually impossible for all to be in front at the same time,...
 
 
Airman 1st Class 
JAMES HENSLEY

Nursing fellows take on trauma training

Airman 1st ClassJAMES HENSLEY Chief Master Sgt. John Mazza, 56th Fighter Wing command chief, and Brig. Gen. Scott Pleus, 56th FW commander, congratulate the 56th Medical Group nurses who graduated from the Critical Care and Eme...
 
 

News Briefs August 15, 2014

Base-wide exercise The 56th Fighter Wing will conduct an active-shooter exercise today. The exercise will include military and local, county and state law enforcement, and fire departments. On and off-base residents should expect traffic disruptions, gate closures or delays, and interruptions of customer service operations. Expect to see simulated explosions, smoke, role players depicting indiv...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin