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Chapter 6: Technique 3: Learning to Help Followers

Preparation to lead the next generation of workers will require current and would-be middle-level leaders to know their followers as well as they know themselves (Covey, 1997) so they can help followers integrate complex work related ideas and programs. These leaders must be able to relate individually with workers, peers, clients, and citizens in close, intimate helping contacts. They must learn to be knowledgeable in the complexities of an increasingly global work world and with multicultural coworkers. They must learn to become comfortable with power, its use and acquisition. And, they must actively take steps to pursue training and gain experience in these areas to facilitate change in themselves and their followers and in joint programs and systems. Leaders’ personal values and the actions taken in response to them constitute leadership, so they must get in touch with their core values and philosophical orientation to work life. Effectiveness in maturing these and other techniques affects the success of visions set, results obtained, and leadership itself.

LEARNING TO DEVELOP FOLLOWERS

Inner leadership is a process of close interaction between the leader and each coworker reiterated for each leader–follower relationship. The purpose of this interaction is to help coworkers—to change them, enhance them, and inspire them to fuller, more complete use of their unique talents in doing the leader’s work. It is a teaching and development task. The leader’s words and actions combine to influence all stakeholders to desired performance by making full use of the abilities, interests, and capacities of each. The inner leader’s task is to help followers learn to do without him or her. Leadership is instructing others in how to lead themselves (Wildavsky, 1984). Leaders need to prepare themselves for this helping (follower developmental) activity. Some of the dimensions of this helping responsibility are explained in this chapter.


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