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Social Sci LibreTexts

7: Leader and Follower Behaviors & Perspectives

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  • “Leadership” is probably the single most discussed topic in business literature today. An effective leader can inspire an organization to produce better quality products, ensure first-rate service to its customers, and make amazing profits for its stockholders. An ineffective leader, on the other hand, can not only negatively impact products, services, and profits, but ineffective leaders can also bring down an organization to the point of ruin. There should be no surprise that organizational leaders are very important and leave a lasting legacy not just on the companies they run but also on society as a whole.

    • 7.0: Introduction
    • 7.1: Approaches to Leadership
      Although it’s relatively easy in hindsight to look at how effective an organizational leader was based on her or his accomplishments, determining whether or not someone will be an effective leader prior to their ascension is a difficult task. To help organizations select the “right” person for the leadership role, numerous scholars have come up with a variety of ways to describe and explain leadership. The rest of this section is going to explore these different approaches to leadership.
    • 7.2: Followership
      Followership is the act or condition under which an individual helps or supports a leader in the accomplishment of organizational goals. However, Jon Howell and Maria Mendez defined followership as less in terms of a straight-forward definition but more as different roles followership can take.
    • 7.3: Mentoring and Coaching
      We are now going to turn our attention to two very specific types of leader-follower behaviors: mentoring and coaching.  The basic difference between mentoring and coaching is the desired result. The goal of mentoring is to help someone advance through the various hurdles associated with one’s career; whereas, coaching is about helping an individual engage in self-improvement in an effort to do her or his job better.
    • 7.E: Exercises