BLUF

To be a great leader you must also be a great follower

Summary

“Effective and courageous followers will use professional dissent to challenge their leaders’ decisions.”

There are no leaders without followers. No followers without leaders. At every level we are all leaders and followers, but it is the responsibility of FOLLOWERS to engage in professional dissent (expressing alternate views), challenge superiors and shape ethical and professional behaviour.

LTCOL Paul Berg of the US Army puts forward a compelling argument for the need of followership training in the PME continuum. Although his examples have an Army flavour, the lessons and theory are equally applicable in the RAAF and joint space. As Air Force develops future capabilities, the power of followers will be critical to supporting leaders at all levels to implement the changes ahead.

How will you get comfortable challenging your boss with respectful, professional dissent? As a leader, do you set the conditions for subordinates to challenge you and hence enable team success?