From the definition provided in, ‘Followership: How Followers Are Creating Change and Changing Leaders’, a leader is different from a follower. A leader is a person in charge of others, the person who persuades people to follow his or her ideas (Nixon 72). A follower, on the other hand, is that person who heeds to the commands or ideas of another individual. It is very easy to compare and contrast between leaders and followers. This paper discusses both the similarities between leaders and followers as well as their differences.
One similarity between leaders and followers is the ability to learn from one another. In his book on Ender’s game, Ender established that a good leader is capable of learning a new tactic from the followers in order to make an improvement. He discovered that while he was instructing his followers on leg-kneeling he also learned a different approach from his followers especially from the buggers, his main opponent (Nixon 77). Likewise, followers have to learn from leaders for them to improve on a certain course.
There exist various differences between leaders and followers. Leaders are independent individuals and tend to isolate themselves from others. They make decisions by themselves without relying on others (Nixon 80). This is well illustrated in the book known as Ender’s game where character Graff isolates character Ender in the verge of strengthening him. When he was coming out of isolation he was a brave soldier and a person that can be relied upon by others. On the other side, followers are dependent. They must rely on decisions made by their leaders as well as execute their leader’s commands. Followers can seek a helping hand from their colleagues, unlike leaders who cannot consult their followers for fear of being considered incompetent.
Leadership is considered by many as too engaging since it comes with responsibilities. A leader lives an isolated life coupled with solving problems independently. In fact, research has established that many leaders have encountered mental breakage and failure at some point in their lives (Kellerman 110). However, followers tend to live easy and comfortable lives since they are not solely accountable for failure. They depend on their colleagues, coaches, as well as their front runners. Thus, many people prefer being followers compared to being leaders.
Willingness is a common trait associated with leaders. They are not afraid to step up and take the bull by its horns. They face challenges head on and embrace change since they know that benefits are accrued from challenges after all. On the contrary, followers have to be commanded by their leader to drive a task. Many times they do not volunteer to take on a mission. They must be persuaded by the one in charge or must be given directives otherwise they are contented in upholding the status quo (Kellerman 121). In addition, leaders have self- awareness. This aspect is brought out in their capability to bring together individuals that complement them and not those that share similar strengths and weaknesses with them. Followers, on the other hand, are like-minded. They think as a group thus contribute little to the development of the project at hand. A good leader serves with honor. He is truthful and aggressive. Followers sometimes trail their leaders untruthfully. Leaders have fallen victims of untruthful followers many times. Their followers still sing praises for them even when they tumble into oblivion. Followers do not live in the light since they are swayed by whatever story is told. This makes leaders and followers very comparable.
Kellerman, Barbara. Followership: How Followers Are Creating Change and Changing Leaders. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Press, 2013. Print
Nixon, Richard M. Leaders. New York, N.Y: Warner Books, 2014. Print.