A leader is one who stands on the frontline, hides fears from followers, gives strength and courage, has a presence of mind, has non-assertive control, is sensible, patient, and exudes bravery in all circumstances.

Leading a team in completing a task is a challenging task and this is nothing new. Many do not understand the difference between leadership and authority; and there is, in fact, a significant difference.

An authoritative leader will induce fear within the group, spur misunderstandings and work will never get completed.

We have exaggerated examples of authoritative leadership gone wrong in our history and we do not want to repeat that.

Great leaders are those who know how to be great followers, and this is something that not many comprehend.

Following someone requires carefully listening to instructions, carrying out the necessary job that is being delegated, being inquisitive and asking questions to guide the leader at every step of the way, and being the supporting body of the team to get the task done effectively.

It is hence essential to understand that leadership and followership is complementary to each other.

A leader is no one without their followers and a follower is no one without a leader.

There are many common qualities that leaders and followers have to have when working together to accomplish something.

1. Patience

In most situations where teamwork is required, patience is a must. This quality gives strength to tolerance and clarity.

Jumping to conclusions, making hasty assumptions and rudely interfering when someone is expressing their opinion are detrimental to the end goal.

Leaders have to be patient enough to listen to a team member’s opinions and team members have to patiently internalize each other’s point of view and wait for the leader to give further direction.

We cannot have everything done our way and at our own pace, and hence, the ability to wait calmly till a solution is born is crucial.

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2. Respect

This is such a fundamental quality and is probably one of the biggest reasons for failed teamwork. The leader and members of the team have to respect each other for their differences and set aside personal issues to work together on what has been assigned.

Respecting one another’s perspectives will give clarity and a sense of direction to a complex task. Finding a plausible solution will be made easy as possible.

3. Effective Communication

Lack of good communication will cause the downfall of a team.

It is a basic skill that needs to be established. Some people may refrain from sharing their opinions, fearing that they may sound unintelligent, and this is one of the barriers to teamwork success.

Having these unnecessary insecurities will cause a lack of creativity within a team and no new ideas could be formed.

Team members as well as leaders have to openly discuss and address the problems within the group, for example, issues like punctuality for meetings, level of preparedness and effectiveness of discussion, etc.

The gaps can only be patched by communication and then thereafter taking the necessary steps to address the problems.

Bottom Line

It doesn’t matter if you are a leader or a manager in a team, or just a team member working with your peers or colleagues to accomplish a task. Everyone is important and has an integral part to play.

If everyone realizes their significance within a team, the importance of the task, and display qualities like respect and patience, success is guaranteed.

How Can Great Leaders Be Great Followers?

If you have ideas you feel like sharing that might be helpful to readers, share them in the comments section below. Thanks!

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David Lim
David Lim is a Tutor at ChampionTutor - Home Tuition Agency. And He is always a great follower which leads him to be a successful leader today.
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