Why is it important for the leader to empower? Why can’t the manager do the job? OR do they both do the job?

Week 6










WEEK SIX – Creating Followers

Theme One is simply how do you empower people? The student should differentiate motivation from empowerment.  It might also be useful to go back to week one and review the idea that motivating followers is a better tool for the manager instead of the leader because of its specific nature and the intrinsic or extrinsic need of the follower.  Empowerment is the tool of choice for the leader primarily because it must be insured through the organizational structure and culture. The leader is creating structural empowerment and building trust to keep the vision and future clear for forward motion.

Learning Activity #1 21st Century Leader Why Would Someone Follow You?

          So far in our journey through leadership in this class we have repeatedly said that leaders must influence their employees. They do this thru empowerment and creating an environment that allows employees an enivronment that allows employees to flourish and be happy in the workplace.  Leaders do this so that employees will follow them toward achieving the vision they have created. However, we have said little about followers and why they choose to follow a leader. After all doesn’t everyone want to be a leader?  The leader is the one who gets the credit and to call the shots. Isn’t the position they hold enough to get people to follow? In the 20th century this was true; the position was everything.  Not so in the 21st century with flat and collaborative environment, leaders must develop a relationship with followers to drive the vision. Position while helpful is not the reason people do their jobs well.  Watch the following video and take the quiz (some have more than one answer to the question).

Dancing Man Video

1) Which phrase(s) best describes the relationship between a leader and a follower? *

  1. The leader is the flint the follower the match X.
  2. The leader is a nut and the follower is nutty too.
  3. The leader is the idea and the follower the speaker of the idea.
  4. The leader is nothing without the follower.

2) How does the leader create additional followers?

  1. The leader’s idea of dancing is so compelling that they just want to join in the action.
  2. The leader publicizes the idea and dances with the new comers.
  3. The leader calls out to others to join him.
  4. The leader is making the first followers equals by dancing with them.

3) The first followers are more important than the leader because…

  1. The followers show active support of the leader.
  2. The more followers a leader has the more things get done.
  3. The followers make the leader possible.
  4. The followers make the others think about joining the action.

The Dancing Man video suggests that followers take on different types.  Barbara Kellerman in the lecture video below explains the types of followers and what their virtues and problems are.  The best way to understand how a leader can create followers is to understand who followers are and how they can be engaged to work as a result of that understanding.  To begin this discussion, watch the video and the review following sets of images (Week 6 Images) .

Barbara Kellerman Lecture on Followership  (Transcript available by clicking on more under the video line)

  • Identify which slide represents the type of follower discussed by Kellerman and why.
  • Give a practical example as to how a leader can best create a relationship with each type of follower.
  • Post your answers in the discussion forum.


Learning Activity #2

Answer the following questions and support your answers from the weekly reading:

If a leader’s job is to develop the future of the organization how does motivation and empowerment fit in to this role? Be sure to explain the difference between the two ideas and ways that both motivation and empowerment should be used in the job the leader does.

Why is it important for the leader to empower? Why can’t the manager do the job? OR do they both do the job?

What is meant by structural empowerment? Why is it important to the leader?

Learning Activity #3

Research telecommuting and flat organizational structures and how they serve to encourage or not encourage employee satisfaction.


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