Relationships Between Leaders and Followers

Everyone has heard the terms leader and follower and definitely asked themselves – which one am I, what should I be, and how to become a leader? With the prominence of these terms in society, the question arises whether it is important to make a breakdown of employees into leaders and followers, and are leaders really the gold of the company?

It’s important for the success of a company that every element of its internal environment operates in accordance with business goals, strategy, and ability to ensure the competitiveness of the company in its field; the same applies to employees and their role within the company, regardless of the position they occupy. A leader is incapable of doing his job effectively without a good team and it’s difficult for the team to move forward with the goals of the company without a knowledgeable and motivating leader. [1]

Leader and followers are one team

Would there be leaders without followers, and would these leaders be “leaders” if they had not initially been followers?

5 aspects that prove that leaders and followers are one team or one whole

Based on a 2013 study on the role of followers in a company and their relationship with leaders, it was found that both their collaboration and the well-functioning of both sides are equally important to the growth of the company. [2]

Effective followers make productive leaders and effective leaders build productive followers

A leader influences his team, just as a team creates influence on a leader – this collaboration can be both positive and negative, influenced by the ability of both parties to trust, listen, help, solve problems and find new solutions. [3]

Both actively executing and successfully managing, supervising, and stimulating these jobs ensures effective collaboration between followers and leaders. Accomplishing company goals promotes teamwork of followers, as well as leaders in guiding their team toward the company goals.

Without followers, there are no leaders

Every company has significant individuals who are ready to not only manage and monitor the processes within the company but also to execute and implement them effectively. Similarly, individuals who are skilled in providing effective division of labor to each team member are needed to deliver the outcome as successful as possible and in line with each individual’s skills and abilities.

Each leader was once a follower

Every leader has been part of a team of followers who, through his dedication and passion, has proven his ability and authority to accomplish specific tasks. However, that does not mean that they are capable of leading all work processes. So everyone in the company has their own individual approach for doing different jobs and solving problems, which means that anyone is capable of becoming a leader in a particular task as long as they are willing and ready to take responsibility.

Leaders and followers are influenced by each other

Leaders influence their followers according to the needs of the company, while followers influence leaders with their attitude and actions – it can have both positive and negative impacts. This mutual influence of both sides is a unifying element that can improve the performance and productivity of both the leader and the team members.

Followers and leaders should have a similar set of characteristics

At best, both leaders and followers embrace a set of assets that reflect the needs of the business and collaboration. Full engagement, independence, initiative, activity, and courage are the qualities that unite leaders and followers, making them a cohesive team working for common purposes.

Every employee of the company is essential to ensure full functionality, regardless of its position in the company. Both leaders and followers are a united team that interacts with each other, proving the need for their mutual collaboration to perform their jobs effectively. Read more: Types of Leaders in Modern Workplaces.


[1]  Kim Peters, Alex Haslam, 2018, Research: To be a good leader, start by being a good follower. Pieejams:

[2]  Suda, L. (2013). In praise of followers. Paper presented at PMI Global Congress 2013 – North America, New Orleans, LA. Newtown Square, PA: Project Management Institute. Pieejams:

[3]  Phat Pham, 2011, Relationship between leaders and followers: a brief discussion. Pieejams:

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