HOW DO YOU FOLLOW AN UNADMIRABLE LEADER?
In the workplace, we often are confronted with the reality that our leader possesses qualities or traits that we don’t admire. These can be simply annoying habits or quirks, or they may be styles, traits, or approaches that fundamentally deviate from our own. Although others may tell you that you could always quit or work for someone else, doing so is not always an easy or wise choice. The question then becomes: How can you follow someone you do not admire?
In last week’s Assignment, you incorporated ideas into your presentation for following unadmirable leaders, or leaders with different styles from those of their followers. For this Discussion, consider an actual situation from your own professional career in which you worked for a leader whose leadership style was inconsistent with what you desired, or for a leader whom you did not admire.
Be sure to review the Learning Resources before completing this activity.
Click the weekly resources link to access the resources.
To prepare for this Discussion:
- Identify someone from your academic or professional career (past or present) who was an unadmirable leader. This should be someone you have worked with to some degree (i.e., a supervisor or team leader, rather than the CEO of a large corporation with whom you may have never directly interacted).
BY DAY 3
Post your analysis of the influence of personal traits on leadership and followership by including the following:
- Describe the leader in question and the situation in which you worked with them.
- Note: Do not identify the individual or the organization where they worked. If necessary, use fictitious names in your description.
- Identify specific traits that made the leader unadmirable or difficult to follow.
- Identify the effects of this individual’s leadership.
- Did the aspects that made them an unadmirable leader produce any negative consequences, whether for yourself, for another individual, or for the organization?
- If you were able to follow this individual, explain how you were able to do so.
Expert Solution Preview
In the workplace, it is not uncommon to come across leaders who possess qualities or traits that we may not admire. This can create a challenging situation for employees who must find a way to work with and follow such leaders. Quitting or finding another job may not always be a viable or wise choice. Therefore, it becomes important to understand how to navigate and follow an unadmirable leader effectively.
In an actual situation from my professional career, I worked with a leader who had a leadership style that was inconsistent with what I desired. This leader, whom I will refer to as John, was my supervisor in a healthcare organization.
John had traits that made him an unadmirable leader. Firstly, he lacked effective communication skills. He rarely provided clear instructions or guidance, leading to confusion and inefficiency within the team. Secondly, he displayed a lack of empathy towards his team members. He never took the time to understand our challenges or provide support in resolving them. Instead, he focused solely on achieving his own goals. Lastly, John had a tendency to micromanage, which resulted in a lack of trust and autonomy among the team members.
The effects of John’s leadership were evident. The lack of clear communication and guidance led to frequent errors and rework within the team. This not only affected the team’s productivity but also resulted in a negative impact on the quality of patient care. Moreover, the lack of empathy and support from John resulted in low morale and job dissatisfaction among team members.
Despite the challenges posed by John’s leadership style, I found ways to follow and work with him. Firstly, I made an effort to communicate openly and proactively seek clarification when necessary. This helped minimize misunderstandings and improve the overall efficiency of our team. Additionally, I sought support and guidance from other team members who had a better rapport with John. Their insights and advice helped me navigate the challenges and fulfill my responsibilities effectively. Lastly, I focused on maintaining a positive mindset and finding satisfaction in the aspects of my work that were within my control. By focusing on personal and professional growth, I was able to find motivation and drive even in a challenging work environment.