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Performance of the Leader as Affected by Followers - Essay Example

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Leadership is not easily defined and may be understood better through its characteristics, more so in relation to followership (Warren, 2001, Hock, 2001) and performance (Chaleff, 2001). When a person gets others to recognize his guidance as useful, leadership occurs (Warren, 2001)…
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Performance of the Leader as Affected by Followers
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Download file to see previous pages However, as observed, leadership does not necessarily imply laudable, good conduct as it is entirely possible to induce destructive behavior through crooked ways (Hock, 2001).
In Hock's description, the true leaders are those who typify the general sense of the community, "enabling its conscious, shared values and beliefs to emerge and be transmitted from generation to generation" (Hock, 2001). From here comes the belief that a community is eventually directed by the conscious, shared values and beliefs of the individuals of which it is composed (Hock, 2001). This may be exemplified by two leaders that had different types of followers: the non-violent Dr. Martin Luther King and the cruel Adolf Hitler (Warren, 2001).
A much better way to understand leader performance as affected by the follower is Hollander's (1997) explanation about the dynamics of leadership. He said that the follower role is expected as one of low power and passive but this is misleading, he believed, because followership is an active accompaniment to leadership. Leaders may be more active, especially in directing, but followers can affect a leader as an "attentive strategic audience," he said. There exists in fact a two-way support and influence that are essential to the leader-follower bond (Hollander, 2007). Such are understood as credit that followers can accord or withhold from their leaders, reflecting their loyalty and trust (Hollander, 1997). This ties up with what Barbara Kellerman (2004) warned as bad followership existing in our systems.
In a very real sense, followers lead by choosing where to be led (Hock, 2001), affirming the belief that followers have a way of affecting leader performance. This line of reasoning is maintained throughout this paper. From definitions of leadership and how it occurs, to leadership characteristics, the discussion leads to the leader-follower relationship, also called Inclusive Leadership (CCL, 2007) and particularly describes the "Idiosyncrasy Credit" (IC) Model of Holland (1968) as a cogent explanation of the dynamics of this relationship. The discussion further delves into followership and goes finally to the topic of leadership performance. This is made distinct from optimum organizational performance where ideally the former is made subject to the latter.
The paper includes specific examples of bad leaders and follower influence on the topic of idiosyncratic credits (IC) model propounded by Hollander (1964). It finally concludes with the recommendation that followership as a subject of research should be given importance.
Leader-follower relationship
How relationship develops. Leadership is a field of interaction or a relationship between leaders and followers (Warren, 2001). Such leader-follower relationship ideally evokes the essence of a clear, meaningful purpose and compelling ethical principles (Hock, 2001), where the relationship develops with the leader and the follower connecting to create one, undivided whole. This means there is no leader who can exist without gaining the support of others (Warren, 2001).
Conflicts may come at times between leader and follower, partly on account of leaders and followers processing information from their own subjective, internal frame of reference (Warren, 2001). However, an alignment may come between the two when followers identify with a leader because the leader fits the followers' image of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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