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Followership underscores leadership

, November 22, 2013, 1 Comments

Followership underscores Leadership -MarketexpressQuality of followers underscores quality of leaders & leadership

Since our early days we are schooled to excel, succeed, and most importantly to lead. In our society leaders have always been lionized either for their pioneering ideas, aura, or the sheer aggression and domination exhibited. Kids are urged to follow one such leader since the early days so as to emulate their qualities and guarantee success at personal and professional front.

We are so obsessed with the idea of leading the pack that we constantly define most of our moves and actions as worthy acts of leadership .  It is universally accepted that anyone lacking leadership qualities is likely to remain as an underachiever life long. Hence, in a world where real heroes are only leaders people hate following others.

While a lot of people talk proudly about their leadership initiatives seldom you find anyone celebrating the spirit of followership. One such rarest of the rare personality that immensely celebrated his followership is Sachin Tendulkar. Sachin, could never lead a pack, and he never pressurized himself to improve his leadership skills.

In 1997 when he shocked the nation with his decision to relinquish his captaincy he didn’t feel embarrassed nor guilty. In a world where everyone of us is forced to inculcate leadership qualities, Sachin exhibited remarkable courage by stepping down from the leadership bandwagon and focus on his core strengths – to bat, coach, and mentor. In our grossly stereotyped world where success and influence is defined by aggression, domination, and control Sachin preached humility, passion, respect, co-ordination, and discipline toward the team and duties.

Sachin’s greatest legacy is not merely the longetivity of his career or the amount of runs scored, it is about co-ordination, listening, coaching, and mentoring his team-mates continually with humility, and passion regardless of their tenure or rank. In the race to become leaders and trend-setters we unknowingly trade values like co-ordination for competition and manipulation. Sachin, though could never become a successful leader defied our leader-centric world that the quality of a leader is determined by the quality of his followers.

Having a follower like Sachin have underscored the quality of successful leaders like Sourav Ganguly and MS Dhoni. Celebrating Sachin’s contributions is also the celebration of a rare art of followership. Its time we underscore the importance of followership in the same light as we overestimate the glory of leaders. Are we ready to dismiss the stereotype that only leaders inspire?

  • Aarti Iyer

    Hi Snehal. I agree. Following is important before leading.