Leadership, even on the face value suggests followership. For there to be leadership, there must be evident followership. As rightly posited by John C. Maxwell, “if a man thinks he leads, and looks back to find that no one is following him, he isn’t leading but merely taking a walk” This is very true of leadership that must be said to be effective.
Followership. However, for willing, cheerful followership to be elicited from others there must be some things a leader must do right and this is what one generally crystallises as INFLUENCE.
In attempting to become an effective leader, one must understand basically, that leadership is not about one’s self, but about the impact we make or are able to make on others. To the extent to which we are able to affect others’ positions, mindsets, paradigms, perceptions, and get them to display the right attitude, the right responses, the right dispositions, and eventually are able to get them to WILLINGLY and CHEERFULLY follow in one’s right steps, genuinely and rightly, making one their model of examples, one is becoming an effective leader.
Leadership does not necessarily have to arise from the top to be regarded as leadership. Leadership can effectively be from below and also from the middle. At every level of the hierarchy within the organisation, family, community and any other groups, one could actually demonstrate leadership. And of course, this is the ability to exude sufficient influence to get people (whether above, or beneath) to take steps in favour of one’s requests, instructions or petitions, and willingly doing so because one is involved. In fact most times, true leaders with the right level of influence on others, should get followership results without necessarily saying (or as in most cases, shouting) a word, or without even been physically present.
In other words leadership can also be described as the ability to make statements without saying a word. This is leadership influence.
Influence is derivable from what we do with or for others and not really what we do with or for ourselves. So if we must lead people, they must be seen to be following us either literally or metaphorically. And for them to follow us, we must influence them enough to get their physical and psychological attention.