What is this subject we call Followership?

This is the opening to the keynote address I will give on Friday, July 27, to the Global Followership Conference in Ontario, Canada.

This is the opening to the keynote address I will give on Friday, July 27, to the Global Followership Conference in Ontario, Canada

“What’s this subject we call followership really about? For me it’s about how we work collectively while retaining individual accountability. Yes, followership is about the relationship between the leader and follower. But it is s also the relationship between the individual and the group.”

For those familiar with The Courageous Follower, its inspiration came from an example of this.

I was reading M. Scott Peck’s account of the infamous My Lai massacre in Vietnam. He asked a question. How could several hundred US soldiers participate in the cold-blooded killing of old men, women and children and in its coverup? He answered that question with an observation: When in the follower role, individuals can displace their own moral accountability onto the leader. This tendency gets compounded by the pressure for group conformity. When I read that, I wrote in the margin that a book on a different way of following was needed.

I will post again after the conference. Stay tuned.

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