We make models to define an idea – so that it can be discussed, challenged, shreaded, and refined. I call this learning.
Yesterday I had a chance to talk through the Five Levels of Followership with a team and here are my highlights: (here is a link to my original post defining the idea)
1. “I see myself bouncing between levels 2, 3, 4, and sometimes 5 as a follower. To do my job well requires me to work in different ways.”
2. What does it take for a leader to help someone move from:
- Level 1 – level 2: Explain the tasks/success measures for the role and/or deliver the message that their presence is costing the team more than they are contributing.
- Level 2 – Level 3: Recognize the great doing / Challenge to look for moments to create fans with their energy and attitude.
- Level 3 – Level 4: Ask occassionally “What do you see that needs to be fixed/streamlined? What would make your job or our jobs easier?”
- Level 4 – Level 5: Hmmm . . . . . . . (no answer to this – you have one?)
3. What does it take from the perspective of a follower to move from:
- Level 1 – level 2: An individual making the choice to approach their work differently.
- Level 2 – Level 3: An individual making an internal shift from duty to passion for their work and the impact they can make.
- Level 3 – Level 4: Thinking and experience in doing a task and knowing how it works today – then asking “What is possible here that would be better?”
- Level 4 – Level 5: Asking “What if?” at a higher level. Knowing the vision for the group and being able to see a shift needed to move there.
It is a great discussion to get leaders and followers in a room to talk about what real teamwork looks like. Invariably, followers leave seeing their role with greater clarity(and ownership) and leaders recognize they have a role, but do not have to shoulder the whole burden for performance (ie. it is okay to ask for help!)
I love this topic and I also love how this video captures it. Take a look at this one from TEDx – and it might be a good way to kick off your next leadership meeting, followed by the questions:
- What does this say about leadership?
- What does this say about followership?
- What challenges to we face as a team that this speaks to?