Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Courageous Followership

“He who cannot be a good follower, cannot be a good leader.”

Aristotle shared that wisdom over 2,000 years ago, but today we chafe at being labeled a follower. Yet, as Ira Chaleff and Neil Grunberg point out, if no one is following, then no one can be leading, either!

Followership is critical in any organization. Think of followership and leadership as a yin and yang: each of us needs to be good at both of them, and each of us needs to know when to play which role. It all depends on the context. Most critically, be a courageous follower: one with the values and integrity to let your leader know when things are amiss. Enron is a classic warning about what happens when an organization doesn’t have courageous followers!

Here's what Ira, Neil, and Maureen cover:

  1. The importance of standing up to and for your leader (even at the same time);
  2. How strict hierarchies distort the flow between follower and leader, slowing down the organization; and

Why a lack of courageous followership leads to catastrophes at work (such as Enron) and in our personal lives (such as Uvalde and other mass tragedies).


Ira Chaleff
Ira Chaleff

Ira Chaleff is an author, speaker, and innovative thinker. His latest work, Intelligent Disobedience, is now available on Amazon. He is founder and president of Executive Coaching and Consulting Associates. As a coach, Ira provides a stimulating and safe environment for executives and their teams to examine, evaluate and significantly improve their management styles, skills and processes. Through targeted interviews, work-climate surveys, and multi-viewpoint feedback instruments, he involves all those who have a stake in the change process, analyzes their input and provides frank, constructive feedback sessions.

Neil Grunberg
Neil Grunberg

Neil Grunberg is a professor of Military & Emergency Medicine, Medical & Clinical Psychology, and Neuroscience in the Uniformed Services University School of Medicine in Bethesda, Maryland. He is also a professor in the Graduate School of Nursing, Director of Research and Development in the USU Leadership Education and Development program, and Director of Faculty Development for Military and Emergency Medicine. He is a medical and social psychologist who has been on faculty at USU since 1979.