The foremost quality expected of a bona fide follower/employee is that he/she must be fully cognizant of the objective criterion of human life and his/her pristine identity, as these would help in furthering the course of the organization’s mission.
A good follower should have mastery over his/her sensory modalities in order to excel in executing/implementing organizational/institutional policies without fear or favor. One’s good intentions crowned with success will know no bounds if the sensory modalities, including the mind, are monitored and are under check and balance. More than a few employees/leaders have been victims of the unruly and impetuous sensory modalities that have resulted in job loss, judicial action, embarrassment or a combination of these.
An effective follower/employee must strive to understand “why and how” the boss does what he does, and should be as good as the boss – that being the standard – if the boss sets a good example. He/she must have to access to the boss’ comfort zone. He/she must radiate caring thinking for the boss. He/she should not only be committed to the boss’ instruction(s), but should also anticipate what the boss would expect of him/her and have it done. “It’s not so much how busy you are, but why you are busy. The bee is praised. The mosquito is swatted.” – Mary O’Connor: Romance author. If a problem is seen, it must be fixed. One should not worry about who would have gotten the blame or who now gets the praise. It is far better to do much and show the results to your boss/head than to talk much and do less/nothing. An effective follower should be innovative and inclined to crisis resolution, or problem solving oriented.
Keep in mind that one’s aptitude is not the sole determining factor of his/her altitude in life, but his/her positive/numinous attitude would go a long way to foster his/her fortitude. Genuine humility should the watchword of a follower who is aspiring to harmonize relations in the organization. The need to communicate emphatically is a sine qua non for enthusing colleagues and clients for the organization’s viable future. The need to be psychologically adjusted (not maladjusted) to suit time, environment and circumstance in dealing with emergencies without having to boil over should not be underestimated.
A good follower must have internalized connectedness with colleagues, seeing the colleagues as agents of his/her boss. He/she should honor the colleagues the way he/she treats the boss. He/she must be forgiving. An effective follower must constantly empower himself/herself to be able to create waves in his endeavors to produce the desirable change in the organizational setting. He/she should avoid destructive criticism and/or faultfinding, bearing in mind that whatever energies are put out would come back to him/her. He/she should rather be a deconstructive, constructive and an appreciative thinker.
An introspective, good follower must keep in mind that his/her cumulative thought pattern has created his/her present work life, and should serve in the best of his/her ability and should maximize the utility of every opportunity for upward mobility. “Your life right now is a reflection of your past thoughts. That includes all the great things, and all the things you consider not so great. Since you attract to you what you think about most, it is easy to see what your dominant thoughts have been on every subject of your life, because that is what you have experienced.” – Rhonda Byrne: Australian writer and producer, known for The Secret.
Americans are hardworking and successful people, but shouldn’t be workaholics; they should take time off their jobs and go to the country to live closer to nature to embark on deep supramundane reflection. This would reinvigorate them and increase their productivity. They should have time with their families, and focus on the ultimate goal of their lives.
A bona fide follower must see one’s self as a servant, as evidently everyone is serving. Srila Prabhupada, founder of world-wide ISKCON asseverates that the pristine constitutional position of all living entities is service. We are either serving the bahiranga-sakti, “external energy” or we are serving the antaranga-sakti, “internal energy.” The modern day corporate greed and the concept of everyone for him/her self may be a limiting factor in experiencing a harmonious worker-employer relationship in a capitalist economy. A follower’s modus operandi spiced-up with contentment, purity, earnest endeavor, noble thoughts, responsibility, compassion, and eschewing of greed and envy is conducive for great leadership aspiration and development. No employee ever becomes an authentic leader without following the standards of great leaders.
A contribution by Bhakti Vasudeva Swami (aka Vasudev Das) to Harvard Business School – Working Knowledge seminar on “Are Followers About to Get Their Due?” Link – Article number (comment number) 52, at: http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/5960.html