THE COURAGEOUS FOLLOWER: STANDING UP TO & FOR OUR LEADERS -- a comprehensive guide for helping the leaders of an organization use their power wisely
The Courageous Follower: Standing Up To & For Our Leaders by Ira Chaleff (1995, Berrett-Koehler Pub; 494 pages)
This is a book about “followership,” a category that, according to Ira Chaleff, you won't find if you scroll through the subject catalog at the Library of Congress. You will find “leadership” and hundreds of books on the subject. But you will only find a handful of articles and books on “followership.” This book is one of the best on that subject and it was born out of a question about the systematic destruction of six million European Jews by the Nazis during World War II. The question was: How could a whole country follow a vicious leader to the logical conclusions of this psychosis? The author of the book explains: “This mass support for a psychotic leader may well have created the contemptuous association my generation has with the term follower.”
According to the author's reflection on this, proximity and courage are the critical variables in the prevention of the abuse of power, and those are the variables he kept in mind while writing a book for and about the followers who serve closely to a leader. He affirms that there is a need for dynamic models of followership that balances and support dynamic leadership and helps us embrace rather than reject the identity of follower because the model speaks to our courage, power, integrity, responsibility, and sense of service.
The book proposes a proactive view of the follower's role, bringing it into parity with the leader's role, a parity that is possible when we recognize that leaders rarely use their power wisely or effectively over long periods unless they are supported by followers who have the stature to help them to do so.
Filled with practical advice and remarkable insight, and keeping in mind that everyone is a follower at least some of the time, this book is highly recommended to both leaders and followers interested in organizational transformation to fosters a climate that encourages courageous followership for the benefit of their organizations. Brilliant reading.
Find this title in our catalog: The Courageous Follower
Recommended by: Maite