Leadership Development

In praise of great followers

We’re always reading about how to be a great leader. But let’s not forget that a leader’s success rests in the hands of their followers. I find it frustrating to coach leaders who are working harder than is necessary to compensate for the drag of their team. Great leaders are nothing without great followers – and every leader is following someone. So this month let’s pay attention to the skills of being a great follower, since we are in some ways both a leader and a follower.

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Don’t confuse high performance with low maintenance

by Jill Malleck, OD Consultant

This article was originally published in the November 20, 2006 issue of Canadian HR Reporter. Subscribe to my monthly workplace/leadership newsletter at www.epiphanyatwork.com.

More than ever, everyone wants to be seen as a high performer at work. We know that those assigned the coveted designation are given the most generous pay increases and first chance at promotion. The confusion begins when you try to sort out the truth about what high performance looks like.

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Leaders that invite unwelcome truths

Earlier this month the newspapers were full of the 1985 Air India crash inquiry. We got a glimpse into organizational culture when James Bartleman described being “hissed” at by an RCMP officer as he tried to share important information. The story reminds me of what the inquiry into the 1986 NASA Challenger disaster revealed of that organization’s bureaucratic culture. In that case, an engineer was told to “take off his engineering hat and put on his management hat”, as he was asked to reconsider his technical advice not to launch the shuttle.

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