Monday, May 23, 2011

Moral Leadership Chapter 6 Followership First, Then Leadership

  • Beyond a certain point, the more professionalism is emphasized, the less leadership is needed; the more leadership is emphasized, the less likely professionalism is to develop.
  • Leadership becomes less urgent and less intensive once the wheels of professionalism begin to turn by themselves.
  • Professionalism has a way of encouraging teachers and principals to be self-managers
  • The term professionalism was derived from the religious setting, where it pertained to the public statement of what one believed and was committed to.
The Old Leadership Recipe
  • If self-management is our goal, then leadership will have to be reinvented in a fashion that places "followership" first
  • Leadership is about two things: trying to figure out what needs to be done to make the school work and work well, and trying to figure out how to get people to do these things
  • The standard management recipe was based on two kinds of authority: bureaucratic and psychological
From Subordinate to Follower
  • A major theme of Value-Added Leadership (Sergiovanni, 1990) is the importance of building followership in the school, as an alternative to subordination
  • Subordinates do what they are supposed to do, but little else, and what they do is often perfunctory
  • If we want sustained and committed performance from teachers, then we must think about leadership practice that helps teachers transcend subordination - one that cultivates followership
  • Followers work well without close supervision, assessing what needs to be done when and how, and making necessary decisions on their own. Followers are people committed to purposes, a cause, a vision of what the school is and can become, beliefs about teaching and learning, values and standards to which they adhere, and convictions.
  • Neither the managerial mystique nor the messiah syndrome can form the basis of the kid of followership needed in schools.
  • When followership and leadership are joined, the traditional hierarchy of the school is upset. It changes from a fixed form, with superintendents and principals at the top and teachers and students at the bottom, to one that is in flux. The only constant is that neither superintendents and principals nor teachers and students are at the apex; that position is reserved for the ideas, values, and commitments at the heart of followership.
Leadership Through Purposing
  • True change involves looking at what we are doing from a vantage point other than that of doing something because that's what teachers (or students or principals or board members) want. We must be able to give reasons for what we do, not only to others but to ourselves. And we must be able to see the connection between why we do what we do and some larger purpose. If we can't see the connection, then maybe we're doing the wrong thing.
  • Contracts are a small part of the relationship. A complete relationship needs a covenant... A covenantal relationship rests on a shared commitment to ideas, to issues, to values, to goals... Covenantal relationships reflect unity ad grace and poise. They are expressions of the sacred nature of the relationships.
The Practice of Purposing
  • Say it.
  • Model it
  • Organize for it
  • Support it
  • Enforce it and commend practices that exemplify core values
  • Express outrage when practices violate the core values
Purposing and the Stages of Leadership
  • Leadership by bartering helps get things moving when the goals and interests of the leader and those of the followers are not he same
  • Leadership through building... He focused his attention on providing the kind of climate and interpersonal support that enhanced opportunities for fulfilling the needs for achievement, responsibility, competence and esteem
  • Leadership through bonding allows the use of moral authority as a basis of leadership
  • Only when strategies evolve from purposes, however, do they become powerful substitutes for leadership, enabling people to be driven from the inside.
  • Use enough style to build an interpersonal climate characterized by trust, and demonstrate enough knowledge of and commitment to issues of substance to build integrity.
  • Motivational technology, change theory, and the skilled application of leadership styles certainly all contribute to the success of ventures like this one. Ultimately, however, it is not just personality that counts. At least equally important is the leader's ability to establish a climate of trust and a sense of integrity in the ideas being proposed. Key to this effort is something worth following. Without ideas, values, and commitments, there can be no followership. Without followership, there can be no leadership. In this sense, the most basic principle of leadership is "followership first, then leadership."

Professionalism requires less management. If less management is the goal, then leadership needs to put followership first. A follower is not a subordinate, a follower believes in the vision and goals of the leader and chooses to follow. A subordinate is forced to follow through bureaucratic or psychological means. This changes the leadership format from hierarchal to a flatter, wider leadership. Purposing can be used to illustrate important concepts or goals to an organization by reinforcing the important values of the organization by say it, model it, organize for it, support it, enforce it and express outrage about it.

I feel that the purposing format is valid in bureaucratic leadership styles, but for an organization that is professionalism and moral, purposing seems to me to be a form of manipulation rather than facilitation. This seems to me to be a way that the leader forces change, and if a professional or moral organization creates shared values together, it seems like this process can seem more dominant than servant based, but depending on the growth of the organization purposing might be required for maturation.

In my organization, I have employees whom I trust and who shares an organizational vision for our team. My style supports their efforts to do what is right, similar to the moral and professional levels. Conflicts arise at times when leaders of other departments attempt to provide direction to my employees, because their style might demonstrate bureaucratic authority style that expects followership due to position, while my employees are beyond that style as they are self-directed, and the bureaucratic style connotes orders, lack of professional respect, and grates on their emotional impact. This illustrates that, even in the same organization, different departments can work with different levels of authority and motivation, and leaders need to realize those difference when interacting with the other communities within the community.

Works Cited
Sergiovanni, T. (1992). Moral Leadership. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.


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