Program Bites: Igniting Leadership Day 2

4 September 2017 By Maria Groner

Leaders and followers

At yesterdays’ Day 2 of Igniting Leadership, we were asked by the presenter to contribute, displayng leadership, through having a go at answering a question that she posed. As a reflector, I am not usually the first to share my insights or ideas – and Oenone’s prompt made me think: is a student in class who satisfies their teacher by giving a response to the teacher’s question a leader? Or are they rather a follower as they respond to a leader’s prompt?

The YouTube clip Leadership Lessons from Dancing Guy that went viral around the world highlights the leadership contributions of the first follower. The first follower validates the leader’s ideas and sees their potential. The first follower takes on the important task of demonstrating that this leader is not just a ‘lone nut’. A first follower can also take the idea and develop it to a higher level, potentially adding to the benefits and the outcomes and inspiring further improvement.

At a LV Igniting Leadership session, we trust our leaders that they guide our learning, and (to an extent) we follow. At the same time, we take on a leadership role, not only leading ourselves and our own learning, but also contributing to the learning of our fellow learners (and our presenters). As leaders, we will always be followers as well, seeing the potential of and supporting an idea presented by other leaders around us. And in following, we demonstrate our leadership.

Maria Groner, Travellers Aid Australia