The Courageous Follower
“If we practice being courageous in our mundane actions with leaders, we will be prepared if one day we are called upon to display extraordinary courage in our relation with a leader. By weaving the principle of accountable followership into our culture at every level, the fabric will become strong enough to resist the periodic attempts of individual leaders to emboss it with their own martial coat of arms.” —Ira Chaleff
Many significant failures—from FEMA’s response to Hurricane Katrina to the recent economic collapse—could have been prevented or mitigated if those lower in the hierarchy were successful at communicating to leaders the risks they saw in the system. Ira Chaleff’s Courageous Follower model has facilitated healthy upward information flow in organizations for over 15 years. The Harvard Business Review called Chaleff a pioneer in the emerging field of followership—this new edition shares his latest thinking on an increasingly vital topic.
The updated third edition of The Courageous Follower includes a new chapter, “The Courage to Speak to the Hierarchy.” Much of Chaleff’s model is based on followers having access to the leader. But today, followers can be handed questionable policies and orders that come from many levels above them—even from the other side of the world. Chaleff explores how they can respond effectively, particularly using the power now available through advances in communications technology.
Everyone is a follower at least some of the time. Chaleff strips away the passive connotations of that role and provides tools to help followers effectively partner with leaders. He provides rich guidance to leaders and boards on fostering a climate that encourages courageous followership. The results include increased support for leaders, reduced cynicism and organizations saved from serious missteps.
What Some Others Have Said:
“The Courageous Follower contains remarkable insight and a lot of practical advice that will be of enormous benefit to followers, and maybe even more benefit to leaders.” —General Walter Ulmer, Jr., President and CEO, Center for Creative Leadership
“If we are going to reinvent our government it will require that our agencies be filled with both courageous leaders and courageous followers. Paying more attention to the follower end of the equation is long overdue.”—Al Gore
“We are all leaders or followers-or both. The Courageous Follower is a comprehensive guide that gives us the tools to manage the virtues, values, and responsibilities of those roles.” —Scientific American
“Especially effective is the discussion of leaders in crisis… Highly recommended…” —Library Journal
“The Courageous Follower is a godsend. Chaleff tackles business transformation with grace, and offers real life solutions for even the most sticky situations.” —Independent Bookselling Today
“The subject of followership has long needed attention, In the corporate world, we have a “star system” which gives extraordinary awards to leaders but does not fully recognize the contributions of followers. Yet in one way or another we are all followers. This book is a guide for all of us.” —Clair Ghylin, retired Vice-President, Chevron USA