In his book, The Dynamics of Management: Mastering the Art of Influencing Others, Doug Jordan argues that successful executives must master the dual requirements of leadership:

  • To have an inspiring vision of where he would like his organization (whether company, division, or team) to go;
  • but also the interpersonal effectiveness skills to attract and sustain followership.

Leadership without followership will not accomplish much. Even if the leader has an inspiring vision and charismatic style, followers will tire of her if she shows no compassion or engagement with her associates.

But equally, positive human relations skills will serve no real purpose if the leader has no purpose. Highly effective interpersonal skills may be useful in social situations but without a vision and purpose and drive to achieve a worthwhile thing, there will be no results that people can attach themselves to, save perhaps another anniversary of the same cafeteria group playing euchre.

Leaders check in from time to time to make sure they have a compelling goal they and others are proud of; and they look around to see if anyone is following.


We’ll be blogging more on the problem of ‘followership’ in future blogs