Find an article in the New York Times in which you can apply one or more of the specific theories or concepts we have been studying. Please link your article to the chapters for which you are submitting.
After finding and reviewing your article, post a brief summary of how, where, and why you can apply leadership concepts and theories we’ve studied in class. Be specific. For example, if you choose to connect behavioral theories to your article, be specific about which behavioral theories you’re connecting. The deeper the integration between the article and specific leadership theories, the better your grade will be.
This assignment is where theory meets practice. The better you can integrate the theories into real-world events, the more deeply you are learning the material. It is this real- life application that will cause you to remember what you are currently learning.
Your initial post should be a minimum of 500 words. You must also select an article from the current year; the article can be from any category of news EXCEPT opinion, and must connect to content in unit two of the course. Remember to include a link to the article you are discussing.
IN MANY ORGANIZATIONS, there has been a movement away from the
extremes of all-powerful leaders and powerless, submissive followers.
We hear about "shared leadership," a helpful concept in softening the rigid
demarcation lines often found between leaders and followers. But there is
a limit to the usefulness of this concept. Despite the fact that many peo
ple experience visceral discomfort with the term follower, it is not realistic
to erase all distinctions between the roles of leaders and followers.
Instead, we need a dynamic model of followership that balances and
supports dynamic leadership . We need a model that helps us embrace rather
than reject the identity of follower because the model speaks to our
courage , power, integrity, responsibility, and sense of service . This book
proposes a proactive view of the follower's role , which brings it into parity
with the leader's role. Parity is approached when we recognize that lead
ers rarely use their power wisely or effectively over long periods unless they
are supported by followers who have the stature to help them do so. Regret
tably, recent history is strewn with examples that support this observation.
3 THE COURAGEOUS FOLLOWER
In many situations, no matter how much partnership or empowerment
exists the leader has ultimate authority and responsibility. The CEO of
a business, the commander of a fleet, the head of a government agency,
the director of a nonprofit organization, the bishop of a diocese, all have
certain powers they retain for themselves and accountability that is not
transferrable. It is difficult to appreciate the external pressures on leaders until you
have walked in their shoes, until you have had to make payroll, bring a
squadron through safely, or respond to the outraged constituents who
elected you. The internal pressures on leaders are often equally potent.
"Ego strength," one of the qualities that propels an individual to leader
ship, is reinforced in ways that can deform it into "ego driven." If these pressures aren't managed well, with adroit help from followers, they can
distort the leader's decision-making processes and interpersonal dynam
ics. Usually, the distortion will be in the direction of more authoritarian
behavior and away from the partnering we desire. How does a follower effectively support a leader and relieve these pres
sures? How does a follower become a "shaper" rather than simply an
"implementer"? How does a follower contribute to leadership development
rather than become a critic of leadership failings? As in all human endeavor, many of us do some of these things quite
naturally. But most of us can readily identify times we felt frustrated in our
"second fiddle" situation as we watched our leaders make a mess of things,
whether from the best of intentions or the worst. The increasingly egali
tarian age we live in does not allow us to comfortably shirk responsibility
and say, "Well, she's the boss!" We've grown beyond authoritarian mod
els that strip followers of accountability. But we haven't necessarily grown
fully comfortable with a new way of operating. Most of us are leaders in some situations and followers in others. On
one level we understand and fully accept this. You can't, by definition,
have a world of only leaders! To think of leaders without followers is like thinking of teachers without students. Both are impossible. They are two
sides of one process, two parts of a whole. Teachers and students form a
learning circle around a body of knowledge or skills; leaders and follow
ers form an action circle around a common purpose.
But on another level there seems to exist the deepest discomfort with
the term follower. It conjures up images of docility, conformity, weakness, and failure to excel. Often, none of this is the least bit true. The sooner
we move beyond these images and get comfortable with the idea of pow erful followers supporting powerful leaders, the sooner we can fully develop and test models for dynamic, self-responsible, synergistic relationships in
If we are to attain the empowerment we crave, we must accept respon sibility for both our own roles and the roles of our leaders. Only by accept
ing this dual responsibility do we ultimately accept responsibility for our
organizations and the people they serve. We need to understand three
things to fully assume this responsibility:
First, we must understand our own power and how to use it. As fol
lowers, we have far more power than we usually acknowledge. We must
understand the sources of our power, whom we serve, and what tools we
have to carry forward the group's mission from our unique vantage point.
Second, we must appreciate the value of leaders and cherish the criti
cal contributions they make to our endeavors. We must understand the
forces that chisel away at their creativity, good humor, and resolve. We
must learn how to minimize these forces and create a climate in which a
leader's strengths are magnified, so a leader can better serve the common
Third, we must understand the seductiveness and pitfalls of the power
of leadership. We are all familiar with Lord Acton's quote: "Power tends to
corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." We are all witnesses to
the many examples that support its assertion. Yet we are like the person
who has never taken hard drugs: though we can intellectually understand
4 5 THE COURAGEOUS FOLLOWER
that they are addictive, we cannot appreciate their force . We must learn
how to counteract this dark tendency of power. The changes occurring in the world make it an opportune time to
develop new models of followership . In the past, centralized organizations
used relatively crude instruments and blunt force to coordinate resources
in pursuit of their objectives. If you were building a pyramid, this method of organization worked terrifically. If you were laying a railroad, it also worked well. It even worked for a while if you were building cars on an assembly line . Dominant leaders and compliant followers were able to get
the job done . In information age organizations , however, hundreds of
decentralized units process and rapidly act on highly varied information
within the design and purpose of the organization . This requires an
entirely different relationship between leaders and followers . Additionally, in both the West and the East, a new social contract is
being formulated. In the largest organizations, we are no longer guaran
teed employment . Our health benefits and retirement pla_ns are being
made portable. Leaders and organizations will no longer take care of us .
Paternalism is gone. We need to take care of ourselves and each other.
In a deep way this is liberating. A central problem in the leader-fol
lower relationship is its tendency to become a parent-child relationship,
a relationship in which the follower is dependent and unable to relate to
the leader on an equal footing . A new model of followership can help us reorient ourselves and our
relationships with leaders . I am choosing the image of the "courageous fol
lower" to build a model of followership because courage is so antitheti
cal to the prevailing image of followers and so crucial to balancing the
relationship with leaders . Courageous followership is built on the platform of courageous rela
tionship. The courage to be right , the courage to be wrong, the courage
to be different from each other. Each of us sees the world through our own
eyes and experiences . Our interpretation of the world thus differs . In rela
tionships, we struggle to maintain the validity of our own interpretation
while learning to respect the validity of other interpretations. The danger in the leader-follower relationship is the assumption that
the leader's interpretation must dominate . If this assumption exists on
the part of either the leader or the follower, they are both at risk . The
leader's openness to diversity, empowering others , breakthrough thinking,
and being challenged and learning from followers will drop precipitously.
Followers will abandon the ir unique perspectives and healthy dissension ,
which are at the heart of the creative process and innovation .
Contemporary leadership texts make compelling arguments for leaders
to drive fear out of organizations, to share power, to invite feedback , to en
courage participation . The leaders likely to read and respond to these argu
ments are the ones already open to change. What about those who cannot
be their own agents of change , who do not walk the talk? I believe that
courageous followers can and must be agents of change for such leaders .
But powerful socialization mechanisms, which served centralized bureau
cracies well and taught followers to obediently follow, are still largely in force.
The awesome shaping powers of school, organized religion, sports teams,
the military, and large corporations are weakening, but still , whatever else
they teach, they condition followers to obey. Expulsion for nonconformity
is a very real threat. The conditioning begins at an age when children are still
utterly dependent on their parents for survival and experience consider
able anxiety about the consequences of not obeying. Our institutions play
on this anxiety and, wittingly or not, reinforce it until followers often do
become the timid creatures we emotionally reject identifying with.
We must examine this programming of the follower's role and envision
what the role can become . What are our attitudes toward leaders? Where
do our loyalties ultimatel y lie? What outcomes are worse than expul
sion? What power do we have to support leaders who are striving to serve
their group? And what obligation and power do we have to change things
when higher loyalties are betrayed? How courageous do we dare to be?
We have not had a lot of cultural support for doing this . Our mythol
ogy until recently has focused on hero-leaders who perform remarkable
feats and successfully challenge villain-leaders. We have lacked common
man, common-woman heroes who stay true to their own lights while help
ing leaders follow theirs . Supportive "number twos" have not historically
attracted much press coverage or six-figure publishing advances . Whistle
blowers have fared considerably less well , their lives often seriously disrupted,
with few rallying to their support . It is only very recently that we have
THE COURAGEOUS FOLLOWER
begun to see exceptions to this pattern. The time has come for leaders and
followers to develop and honor new models for relating to each other.
I will first explore the dynamics of the leader-follower relationship.
What binds the leader and follower together? What are the underlying
moral, emotional, and psychological forces at work? What are the respec
tive powers each has in the relationship? I will then present a model of
how courageous followers can improve that relationship for the benefit of
themselves, their leaders, and the organization. There are four dimensions in which a courageous follower operates
within a group, and a fifth dimension in which the follower operates
either within or outside the group depending on the response of the lead
ership. The model will explore each of these dimensions as a way to com
pare our current followership practices with how we might develop the
THE FIVE DIMENSIONS OF COURAGEOUS FOLLOWERSHIP
THE COURAGE TO ASSUME RESPONSIBILITY
Courageous followers assumeresponsibility for themselves and the organ
ization. They do not hold a paternalistic image of the leader or organi
zation; they do not expect the leader or organization to provide for their
security and growth, or to give them permission to act. Courageous fol
lowers discover or create opportunities to fulfill their potential and max
imize their value to the organization. They initiate values-based action to
improve the organization's external activities and its internal processes.
The "authority" to initiate comes from the courageous follower's under
standing and ownership of the common purpose, and from the needs of
those the organization serves.
THE COURAGE TO SERVE
Courageous followers are not afraid of the hard work required to serve a
leader. They assume new or additional responsibilities to unburden the
leader and serve the organization. They stay alert for areas in which their
strengths complement the leader's and assert themselves in these areas.
Courageous followers stand up for their leader and the tough decisions a
leader must make if the organization is to achieve its purpose. They are as
passionate as the leader in pursuing the common purpose.
THE COURAGE TO CHALLENGE
Courageous followers give voice to the discomfort they feel when the
behaviors or policies of the leader or group conflict with their sense of
what is right. They are willing to stand up, to stand out, to risk rejection,
to initiate conflict in order to examine the actions of the leader and group
when appropriate. They are willing to deal with the emotions their chal
lenge evokes in the leader and group. Courageous followers value orga
nizational harmony and their relationship with the leader, but not at the
expense of the common purpose and their integrity.
THE COURAGE TO PARTICIPATE
When behavior that jeopardizes the common purpose remains unchanged,
courageous followers recognize the need for transformation. They cham
pion the need for change and stay with the leader and group while they
mutually struggle with the difficulty of real change. They examine their
own need for transformation and become full participants in the change
process as appropriate.
THE COURAGE TO TAKE MORAL ACTION
Courageous followers know when it is time to take a stand that is differ
ent from that of the leader's. They are answering to a higher set of values.
The stand may involve refusing to obey a direct order, appealing the order
to the next level of authority, or tendering one's resignation. These and
other forms of moral action involve personal risk. But service to the com
mon purpose justifies and sometimes demands acting. If attempts to redress the morally objectionable situation fail, a follower faces the more difficult
THE COURAGEOUS FOLLOWER
prospect of whether to become a whistleblower, with the greatly increased
risks this poses to both the follower and the organization.
Enriching the original model are two chapters added in the subsequent
THE COURAGE TO SPEAK TO THE HIERARCHY
The five classes of courageous follower behaviors assume a degree of rela
tionship with the leader. In large hierarchical and global organizations,
policies or directives often originate several levels above the follower, from
individuals with whom the follower has little or no contact. How do those
lower in the hierarchy, or far removed from the formal power centers,
effectively communicate with those near the top of the hierarchy? How
do they ensure that the most senior leaders of the organization have the
data they need to make well-informed decisions? And how do nonhier
archical methods of communication that leverage the power of networks
interface with these hierarchies? Courageous followers give careful thought
to the application of courageous follower principles in these contexts and
develop the sensitivities and strategies required to speak effectivelyto the
THE COURAGE TO LISTEN TO FOLLOWERS
After exploring the model and applications of courageous followership, I
will conclude with an exploration of the leader's responsibility to sup
port the conditions of courageous followership and to respond produc
tively to acts of courageous followership. This is harder to do than it
appears to be on the surface. When done well, it offers powerful paybacks
for the leader and the organization. When done poorly, both leaders'
careers and their organizations suffer.
The world is fitfully evolving to a more egalitarian culture. Leadership and
followership are evolving. Leaders are increasingly becoming a hub in a
complex system of multiple wheels and hubs and spokes. Dynamic fol
lower-follower relations are becoming as essential as dynamic leader-fol-
lower and follower-leader relations. The realities of knowledge-driven
organizations require this evolution. Nevertheless, in all evolutionary
processes, the prospects for the emerging stage of development often look
dubious. There will be times while reading this book when you might
wince at suggested behaviors and think, "Get real!" For some leaders the
suggested approach will be unreal or at least uncomfortable. For others,
who have allowed contemporary cultural changes to seep into their pat
terning, the approach presented here will be recognizable and welcome.
The leader's reactions are of secondary importance, however, to the actions
of the follower. That is why this book focuses on the courage of the fol
lower; we are not talking about comfortable, risk-free behavior.
Most of us will have ample opportunity to experiment with and
develop new models of courageous followership in the course of "ordi
nary" living. We will help our organizations compete more efficiently,
make them more humane and environmentally thoughtful, help our com
munity groups function more responsively, perhaps even teach our chil
dren to be more courageous in relating to legitimate authority figures and
illegitimate ones such as schoolyard bullies who, unchecked, grow into
workplace or political bullies.
But the extraordinary also occurs: the opportunity to help a leader make
a bold peace initiative, the discovery of abusive practices that demand
reversal, the chance to influence leadership practices that may bring an
organization to a crossroads in choosing the core values by which it will
live. To the degree we have become strong and comfortable with new
models of followership, those models will serve us well when we find our
selves in situations where the consequences are profound.
Whether we are dealing with the ordinary or extraordinary, the chal
lenge a follower faces is significant. This book is designed to give the coura
geous follower the insights and tools needed to meet that challenge.
In understanding the leadership model presented here, it is necessary to assume that a
"leadership development group" has been formed, and that the group intends to
engage in some form of change-action project2 as the primary vehicle for developing
leadership skills. (Issues related to the formation of such a group and identifying appro-
priate service projects are discussed later.)
.& This model is inclusive, in that it is designed to enhance the development of leadership qualities in all participants-those who hold formal leadership positions as well as those who do not-and to promote a process that is inclusive and
actively engages all who wish to contribute .
.& Leadership is viewed as a process rather than as a position .
.& The model explicitly promotes the values of equity, social justice, self-knowledge, personal empowerment, collaboration, citizenship, and service .
.& "Service"3 provides a powerful vehicle for developing student leadership capabili-
ties in a collaborative environment. Learning happens by "making meaning" of life
.& While the model was initially designed to assist professionals in the field of student
affairs who are engaged (or wish to engage) in facilitating leadership development among students, we have come to realize that it can also be useful to faculty and academic administrators or to students who are interested in undertaking leader-
ship development projects on their own.
.& The model is only one of many possible models ofleadership development. It is presented as a working framework that is subject to regular revision and refinement
based on the experience of those who use it. Practitioners and students may well find certain elements in the model to be more applicable or relevant than others.
Moreover, different types of institutions may need to make some modifications in accordance with their institutional missions.
2 We use the terms "service" and "change-action" interchangeably.
3 Our use of the term "Service" in intended to describe activities that serve the common good.
• The model has two primary goals:
1. To enhance student learning and development; more specifically, to develop
in each student participant greater:
• Self-knowledge: understanding of one's talents, values, and interests, espe- cially as these relate to the student's capacity to provide effective leadership.
• Leadership competence: the capacity to mobilize oneself and others to serve and to work collaboratively.
2. To facilitate positive social change at the institution or in the community. That is, to undertake actions which will help the institution/ community to function more effectively and humanely.
Since our approach to leadership development is embedded in collaboration and
concerned with fostering positive social change, the model examines leadership devel-
opment from three different perspectives or levels:
The Individual: What personal qualities are we attempting to foster and develop in those who participate in a leadership development program? What
personal qualities are most supportive of group functioning and positive social change?
The Group: How can the collaborative leadership development process be designed not only to facilitate the development of the desired individual qualities (above) but also to effect positive social change?
The Community/Society: Toward what social ends is the leadership development activity directed? What kinds of service activities are most effec- tive in energizing the group and in developing desired personal qualities in the individual?
The connections among these three levels can be illustrated schematically in Figure 1.
Arrow "a" indicates that the nature of the group process depends in part on the personal
qualities of the individual "leaders" who make up the leadership development group. Arrow
"b" symbolizes the reciprocal effect of the group on the individual. Much of what happens
in any leadership development effort (and much like the work of a musical ensemble) is
that it involves a continuous feedback loop between the group and the individual
(a-> b -> a, etc.).Arrow "c" symbolizes the service activity ("music"), where the group
focuses its energies in an effort to effect positive change in something outside
of itself. Arrow "d" indicates that how the outside community (i.e., service recipient or
"audience") responds will inevitably affect the group process. The feedback loop
suggested by arrows "c" and "d" thus symbolizes the byplay between the group and the
Figure 1. Three components of the leadership development model
community that necessarily occurs during any leadership activity which is designed to
Arrow "e" symbolizes the direct engagement of the individual in the service activity. The
final arrow ("f") indicates that the individual can be directly affected by engagement in
the change-action project. However, some of the most important community feedback
to the individual occurs indirectly, where individual students are able to compare their
own direct experience of the service activity (arrow "f") with that of other group
members (arrows "d" and "b") 4 .
In our many hours of discussion and debate, it became clear to each of us in the
Ensemble that values were at the core of what we considered to be the critical
elements in our leadership development model. In addition to Change, the "hub" around
4 Some of us wanted to draw the circles as overlapping in order to emphasize the interactive and reci- procal nature of the model. After a few such attempts, however, we decided against the idea because the resulting diagrams looked too cluttered and confusing.
which our evolving model was being developed, there were seven other critical values
about which we could agree:
& Consciousness of self
& Common Purpose
& Controversy with Civility
Since it happens that there are seven values in this list and they all begin with the letter
C, we dubbed these as the "7 C's" of leadership development for social change. These
values, in turn, can be organized within the three levels of the model (Figure 2), as
& Consciousness of self
Group Process Values
& Common Purpose
& Controversy with Civility
CHANGE, of course, is the value "hub" which gives meaning and purpose to the 7 C's.
Change, in other words, is the ultimate goal of the creative process ofleadership–to make
a better world and a better society for self and others.
• Collaboration • Common purpose • Controversy with
• Consciousness of self • Citizenship
• Congruence • Commitment
Individual Values Societal/ Community Values
Figure 2. The 7 C's organized by level of focus
Following are brief definitions of each of the "Seven C's." (See pp 31-69 for more
extended essays on each "C"):
Consdousness of self means being aware of the beliefs, values, attitudes, and emotions that
motivate one to take action.
Congruence refers to thinking, feeling, and behaving with consistency, genuineness, authen-
ticity, and honesty toward others. Congruent persons are those whose actions are
consistent with their most deeply-held beliefs and convictions. Clearly, personal congru-
ence and consciousness of self are interdependent.
Commitment is the psychic energy that motivates the individual to serve and that drives
the collective effort. Commitment implies passion, intensity, and duration. It is directed
toward both the group activity as well as its intended outcomes. Without commitment,
knowledge of self is of little value. And without adequate knowledge of self, commitment
is easily misdirected. Congruence, in turn, is most readily achieved when the person acts
with commitment and knowledge of self.
Collaboration is to work with others in a common effort. It constitutes the cornerstone
value of the group leadership effort because it empowers self and others through trust.
Collaboration multiplies group effectiveness by capitalizing on the multiple talents and
perspectives of each group member and on the power of that diversity to generate
creative solutions and actions. Collaboration empowers each individual best when
there is a clear-cut "division oflabor."
Common Purpose means to work with shared aims and values. It facilitates the group's
ability to engage in collective analysis of the issues at hand and the task to be undertaken.
Common purpose is best achieved when all members of the group share in the vision
and participate actively in articulating the purpose and goals of the leadership develop
ment activity. Recognizing the common purpose and mission of the group helps to
generate the high level of trust that any successful collaboration requires.
Controversy with Civility recognizes two fundamental realities of any creative group effort:
that differences in viewpoint are inevitable, and that such differences must be aired openly
but with civility. Civility implies respect for others, a willingness to hear each other's
views, and the exercise of restraint in criticizing the views and actions of others. This is
best achieved in a collaborative framework and when a common purpose has been iden
tified. Controversy (conflict, confrontation) can often lead to new, creative solutions to
problems, especially when it occurs in an atmosphere of civility, collaboration, and
Citizenship is the proces
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