Notes on Leadership and Followership

These are my notes from a sermon a couple of weeks ago on the topic of leadership and followership. I am not identifying the person who gave it, since I did not ask permission first. 🙂 These are in a rough format, as I did not have time to tidy them up after dealing with some tech issues.
In short, we’ve always been told that in order to learn how to be a good leader, we must first learn to be a good follower. Well, how are we doing at that? Being a good follower takes as much skill, perhaps even more, as being a good leader. Leadership and followership should be topics that hit home for us, for we are learning to be good leaders for the world tomorrow.
Having said that, I think there are some important concepts in here, including dealing with leadership when it is incorrect. So, without further ado, here are my notes:
There are tons of books on leadership, but what of followership? There are only a few on followership. We are here to be followers of Christ.
Jn 10:4-5, 27
Jn 12:26
How can we be the best followers we can be?
Christ called to people to follow Him, but He did not say to them “Lead by my name.” That would come later, but they first had to learn how to serve.
Lk 22:24-27
Our Leader says He serves us.
Later, we will be leaders, but we first must be followers.
Strong followership strengthens leadership. Leaders serve by developing those under them. They serve them.
Followers make the movement. Where would the great leaders be w/o followers?
self-management: ability to control one’s actions, be self-controlled and think critically.
commitment: must be committed to cause of the group.
competence: has the necessary skills to contribute to the group and allow the group to advance.
courage: follow true to standards, ethical and candid.
Ac 17:10-11
We bring our Bibles to church to look up the things we are told to ensure they are true and upright.
(Pr 16;32)
We are encouraged to control our actions, not throw temper tantrums.
We are supposed to work independently
Mt 25:14-30
We’re here while Christ is preparing a place for us. This is our opportunity to grow now.
We’ve been given a couple of tasks while here.
Mt 28:19-20
We are to become more like Christ, but on the flip side we should help others do the same.
2 underlying behaviors determine type of followers. Is person a critical and independent thinker? Is the person active or passive?
5 followership patterns:
1. passive – require external pressure to perform. Not independent thinker.
2. “yes people” — very conformist group who do not question the leaders.
3. pragmatists — dead middle of all 4 quadrants, sort of wait and observe, then they follow the group.
4. alienated — they seem to be disconnected, they feel they are passed over for rewards. Often critical. May be independent thinkers, but they are otherwise passive [thinking of passive-agressive?].
5. star followers — pos, active, independent thinkers.
We need to emulate good followers.
1. judgment — take direction, but look at underlying to see if ethical. Know diff between directive we don’t agree w/ and directive that is wrong.
look out for false teachers. They will take you away from God.
Mt 7:15-23
2. work ethic — good followers are good workers.
Followers get the work done. You cannot be a good follower w/o being a good worker. It’s an oxymoron.
Pr 6:6-11;10:4
What’s the impact of a slacker to a leader?
You have to be able to trust a follower to get the work done.
29:19; 14:35
3. Competence
Pr 22:29
We need to be as competent as possible at work and in our religious lives alike.
Things go wrong, and it is true that a leader has to identify training needs. Still, we ourselves need to ensure we are trained as well. We need to study and be competent at the word of God.
1Pe 3:15
You cannot explain why you do what you do if you don’t understand and can explain it to people.
Heb 5:13
We need to advance and be adults. We can’t be babes in the word.
4. Honesty — a good follower is honest.
Gal 2:11
A good follower does not sit on his hands when he sees something wrong.
Good leaders appreciate constructive feedback.
Pr 28:6
God wants us to walk w/ integrity.
14:2; 21:3
5. Courage
It takes courage to be honest, confront a leader. Churchill called it the highest virtue upon which all others rest.
Pr 20:2
Nathan talked to David about his sin. How cautious and careful he was!
6. Discretion — it simply means keeping your mouth shut. Loose lips sink ships. You don’t have to say everything you know.
Followers owe their leaders discretion. Sometimes, gripes and complaints in the workplace are detrimental. Some companies even put spies in place to overhear complaints for that reason.
Pr 20:19;10:10-14; 11:13
Does it add value? Is it necessary?
7. Loyalty to enterprise. This is particularly important when other issues are going on. Disloyalty inevitably causes difficulties. Loyalty is not a synonym for lapdog. Obligation is to enterprise and not a particular leader at a given time. We are tied to being Christians, not in following an indiv.
We need to be loyal to God and Christ. Church is a vehicle to learn and grow, but ultimately we are to follow God and Christ always.
Mt 28:18-20
We have a job to do! We do this through the organization, so we’d better find the right organization.
8. Ego management. Good followers have their egos under control.
It’s your performance and who you are that counts, not an exaggerated view of yourself. God will tie our rewards to our performance (Parable of the Talents).
Pr 3:34
Scorn makes someone else feel worthless.
Pr 16:18
There also is supplemental material at

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