LEADERSHIP AND FOLLOWERSHIP
MEANING OF LEADERSHIP
Leaders are people who do the right thing . They are interested in direction, vision, goals, objectives, intentions, purpose and effectiveness.
Leadership is influence, the ability of one person to influence others. One man can lead others only to the extent that he can influence them to follow his lead.
Lord Montgomery sees “leadership as the capacity and will to rally men and women to a common purpose and the character which inspires confidence.”
Leadership can also be seen as the art or process of influencing people so that they will willingly strive towards the achievement of the goals of a society or group.
MEANING OF FOLLOWERSHIP
Followership as a concept is closely associated with leadership.
It is used to describe the qualities of people being controlled, organized, directed and led for the achievement or realisation of community set goals. Infact, they are subordinates of the leader or leaders in the community, society or nation.
QUALITIES OF A GOOD LEADER
There are many qualities or characteristics that are found in a leader. These qualities makes him/her different from others. Some of them are:
- Strong and firm: A good leader must be strong and firm in the area of decision making.
- Commitment: Leaders face things with full force and would not even think of giving up. With a leader, there is no such thing as failure but commitment. A leader endures, sticks to it and won’t quit.
- Change Oriented: Leaders are willing to change because they are committed to go all the way through. A good leader must advocate for change, something different from what it used to be
- Relates well: Leaders know how to relate to different people in different , on different levels. That is why he can lead, because he can relate to those he is leading.
- Self-awareness: Leaders know their own strengths and weaknesses. If you know your strength, you will keep yourself focused on those things and if you know your weaknesses, you will keep other people focused there.
- Vision: A good leader has a strong vision and purpose and has a definite will on how to accomplish it.
- Open minded: He must make positive efforts to get his subordinates talk to him on issues that affect them positively or negatively.
- Enjoys work: Good leaders enjoy what they are doing and they don’t do it because, they need to or have to, but because they have a desire to do what they are doing and really like it.
- Walks by faith: In modern times, leaders are willing to take risks. They are willing to step out and try something new, something that may not be a sure deal. They are leaders because they are out at the point where no one has tread before, blazing new trails and stepping into new realms. Leaders will use faith.
- Uses mistakes: Good leaders are not afraid of making mistakes, they just use them. They use their mistakes to learn from and to go for more. They use their mistakes to make proper adjustments and continue on toward the vision and fulfillment of their goals.
QUALITIES OF A GOOD FOLLOWER
A good follower must possess the following qualities:
- Discipline: A good follower must be enlightened and disciplined.
- Co-operation and respect: He must be ready to co-operate and respect the constituted authority.
- Patriotic: He must be patriotic and ready to exhibit absolute loyalty to the leadership.
- He must be rationale: He criticizes the government in power and proffers workable solutions to problems.
- Commitment: He must be committed to the goals of the party, government or organization that he belongs.
- Hardwork and dedication: He has to be hopeful that through a dint of hardwork and dedication, he can eventually become a leader.
- Responsible: He must be an embodiment of responsible followership which all good citizens stand for.
- Participative: He is a participative follower in terms of active involvement in the government, political, social and cultural activities and responsibilities.
- Dependable: A follower should look up to his leader for order, progress and protection.
ROLES IN POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT
- Societal Problems: Leadership identifies the problems of the society, it suggests and decides on the best solutions and best method of implementation.
- Mobilization: They mobilise the followership by sensitizing them on the political and social issues facing the country
- Consultation: Leadership normally consults followership before implementing most policies of government.
- Support and loyalty: Followership gives support and loyalty which is required of leadership for the attainment of set objectives of the government.
- Orderly functioning of the society: For proper and orderly functioning of the society, leadership and followership need to be favourably disposed to each other.
- Political education: Leadership gives political education to followership. For example the need for them to vote during elections.
- Mass support: Leadership equally depends on the followership for support during elections i.e. stating reasons why they should vote for their parties during any political election.
- Legitimacy: The support and approval of any government comes through followership. Followership gives legitimacy to government in power through voting in any political election.
- People’s wellbeing: Followership places support and hope on leadership for the attainment of goals that touches on the people’s economic and social wellbeing. For example provisions of social amenities and job.
- Provision of adequate security: This should be paramount in the eyes of leadership, while followership should support the efforts of the leadership in achieving this set objective for the country.
TYPES OF LEADERSHIP
- Family leadership: This is decided by age, hereditary, etc, especially in an extended family, but in a nuclear family, the father and mother are the leaders of the family.
- Community Leadership: This could be achieved through philanthropic engagements and the number of interests shown to the community. It can also be through the ability the individual has to organize and supervise communal activities successfully.
- Traditional leadership: This is mostly achieved through inheritance or award of chieftaincy titles to deserving indigenes that contributed to the development of the community.
- Charismatic leadership: This could be achieved through natural or divine gifts. Charismatic leadership always avoids making serious mistakes capable of deterring people’s confidence in them. For example, religious and political leaders.
- Constitutional Leadership: This type of leadership is derivable from the constitution of the country. It is a legal or legitimate authority bestowed on a person or persons by the will of the generality of the people. It is a leadership that is constituted through elections. For example, the President, governors, law-makers, are all constitutional leadership.
STYLES OF LEADERSHIP
The following are some style of leadership:
- Democratic leadership: It is a type of leadership that is open and demonstrates respect for every person, groups in the society. It allows for people’s participation in policy formulation. Infact, decisionmaking is based on consultation, deliberation and allows for equal participation among the groups. Elected governments are based on democratic leadership.
- Autocratic leadership: In this type of leadership decisions are exclusively made by the leader, who is an autocrat. He believes that human beings are weak, unwilling to work, incapable of making and taking decisions, has limited reasoning, etc. This type of leader considers that human beings must be directed, motivated, pushed and forced to work for the community. This type of leadership is also known as dictatorship which does not give room for followers to make choice.
- Laissez-Faire leadership: It is a type of leadership with no rules in the organization, society or the group. The leadership takes a passive stand towards the problems of the group or organization. Leadership have no authority and members appear to have equal status or powers. This type of leadership is common among unorganised groups, such as demonstrators or situation in which the rightful position of leadership is in dispute. This type of leadership breeds confusion, anarchy, breakdown of law and order in the community or organization.
- People-Oriented Leadership: It is task oriented. There is job specification and it is defined stating what to do and what not to do.
- Transformation-visionary leadership: This is leadership with vision and transformational disposition.
- Paternalistic Leadership: This type of leadership acts like a father leader.
- Pseudo – Democratic or manipulative leadership: This type of leadership is based on deceit and pretence. In some cases, the opinions of the members are sought but never utilized or made use of.
- Situational leadership: The style of leadership is based on the kind of situation that arises. Decisions are therefore, made and taken based on such situation on ground.
- Bureaucratic leadership: The leadership style here is strictly based on rules and regulations and is incumbent on the workers or members to adhere to such rules and regulations. In the civil service, whether Federal or State, such is the order of the day.