Leaders are mostly associated with power and authority. However, Leadership is an art of influence—and motivation. Leaders in true sense motivate people to extend their limits and do more than they ever thought possible. The importance of a follower is critical for a leader. It is famously stated that “A leader without followers is simply a man taking a walk.” History has got multiple instances where followers played a huge role in the popularity or success of their leader. Mahatma Gandhi in India and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in USA are a few of the many examples where followers made these leaders and their ideologies widely popular not only in their own country but also across the whole world.
Virtues of Leadership
Leadership offers many landmarks and examples for the followers which remain live even when leader in physical form is not there:
Strength: A leader is always at the forefront of any task so he/she is the first one to face the challenges or problems associated with a task. This in turn makes the person strong and confident to tackle any problem.
Respect: Being a leader always brings respect and recognition of the ideas and efforts.
Power: Leadership entrusts one with the power to control and influence others. However, with power there comes additional responsibility to execute tasks effectively.
Followers Equally Important
While leaders are revered everywhere, followers also command respect and set examples after turning into leaders:
Follow first: There is no harm in being a follower first and then a leader. Many renowned leaders have followed this path and have acclaimed worldwide fame for their leadership skills. The most famous example of this is Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India.
Know when to lead and when to follow: There lies a great sensibility in deciding when to lead and when to follow. Even great leaders switch to being a follower if they witness merit in someone’s ideas or skills in executing tasks.
Role Suitability: The role of a leader comes with a lot of additional responsibilities. While some people handle these additional responsibilities effectively others may feel overburdened and hence become less productive. So it is important to choose the role accordingly.
We need both leaders and followers, however, one should know how to switch roles.