Followership and Leadership: An imperative organizational relationship.

The typical educational system starts stressing the importance of “leadership” skills in high school, if not earlier. Various groups and programs exist to teach students how to be leaders, how to stand out, be the best, and get to the top. 

This idea is reiterated during our years at University and again in our subsequent job interviews. 

Numerous questions about your own learship skills and what traits an ideal leader should possess?

This societal shift has created an enormous problem that is currently unfolding in organizations across the United States, and most likely around the world. 

Followership is the pivotal counterpart to leadership, where together they create a highly functioning business and healthy working environment. 

We are not learning the necessary lessons about the vital importance of team dynamics, supportive roles, and utilizing individual talents to the benefit of the team. 

In a world filled with people trying to fight their way to the top, we are left with unhappy teams, overly competitive work environments, and employees being conditioned to feel less worthy, less confident, and underappreciated.

The complementary relationship between leadership and followership is something that, if taught from a young age, would allow the transition into adulthood to filled with work towards authenticity and happiness rather than constantly trying to keep up with and conforming to an impossible standard. 

It is worrisome to think what will happen if we don’t start to change what is being taught to the new generations entering the work force. We are seeing an unprecedented age gap in our workforce that is understandably causing conflict due to the differences in work ethic, team strategies, moral and ethical standards, and acts of empathy. 

Our world would not function if the workforce consistent of leadership members only. Therefore, we need to make sure that we emphasize how essential supportive roles are  in our organizations and that they make up an important half of a functioning symbiotic relationship with leadership. 

*Paige*

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