(Answered) Characteristics of an Effective Follower

(Answered) Characteristics of an Effective Follower

(Answered) Characteristics of an Effective Follower 150 150 Prisc

Characteristics of an Effective Follower

Distinguish the characteristics of an effective follower. How does this affect the types of power one has? What is appealing about the role? What is unattractive about the role?

Sample Answer

Characteristics of an Effective Follower

Scholars have sought to define followers as individuals who have specific sets of skills motivations and possess the ability to enhance the potential of given organizations (Grossman & Valiga, 2016). However, the most prevalent definition has been that followers will be subordinates who will enjoy less authority, power, and influence in organizations compared to their superiors and who may usually but not at all times fall into line (Ford & Harding, 2018).

Effective followers will, however, share important qualities, which include; self-management, commitment, competence & focus, and courage. A good follower will thus possess the ability to maintain independence, to exercise control, and work efficiently with no close supervision.  Leaders can, therefore, count on good followers to fulfill their duties at all times. Good followers will also show commitment to a given cause. This can include an idea, organizational goals, or any other cause (Ford & Harding, 2018). An effective follower will also show competence and focus. Most effective followers will take time to master different skills that will be useful to their organizations or the cause that they will seek to serve. This will make effective followers have higher performance standards than what their organizations or leaders ask of them. Finally, effective followers are courageous. In this regard, effective followers will be critical thinkers who will always provide clear judgment and inspire others to trusts in them even through uncertainty (Grossman & Valiga, 2016).

Effect on the type of power

The follower’s power is derived from their specific skills, knowledge, education, and expertise, as well as the ability to take responsibility, take up challenges, and keep learning. All the followers, therefore wild the power forming relationship which they can utilize to pursue their colleagues, including leaders, to follow a given direction (Ford & Harding, 2018).

Appealing and unattractive aspects of the follower’s role

The most appealing aspect of the follower’s role is the ability of the follower to influence others, including his leaders, to move in a certain direction by leveraging relationships. However, the follower’s role is unattractive in that they lack the authority, influence, and power to make an immediate impact or effect changes in organizations often requiring to work on such changes for a long time.


  • Ford, J., & Harding, N. (2018). Followers in leadership theory: Fiction, fantasy, and illusion. Leadership, 14(1), 3–24. https://doi.org/10.1177/1742715015621372.
  • Grossman, S., & Valiga, T. (2016). The New Leadership Challenge, 5e: Creating the Future of Nursing. Pennsylvania: F.A. Davis Company.