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Followers and Liking

 

Disciplines > Leadership > Followership > Followers and Liking

Goodness | Similarity | Vulnerability | See also

 

If I do not like you, then I will not follow you. But if I like you (or at least respect you) then I will pay attention to you.

Goodness

If I judge you to be good, then I know you have similar values to me. People with similar values share the same social rules and judge each other to be worthwhile. Similar values also encourage people to feel that they are in the same social grouping as one another. They say 'I am like you' and hence 'I like you'.

Effective leaders understand the values of their followers and, at the very least, avoid breaking them wherever possible.

Similarity

We use external similarity as a short-cut to determine if a person is like us on the inside. If you seem to be like me, from the clothes you wear to the way you speak to the common experiences we have shared, then I will like you and trust you.

Leaders have the 'common touch' that lets them speak to others in their own language, as an equal.

Vulnerability

We see ourselves as vulnerable, often with the sense of being a child that we all have to some degree. We see our failings, our limitations, and weaknesses.

Leaders who appear perfect do not seem to be like us, and so we will distance ourselves more from them. Leaders who demonstrate vulnerability are showing themselves to be human, just like me, so I will follow them - just so long as that vulnerability is not in an area that may threaten me or may prevent the leader from effective leadership.

See also

Bonding principle, Trust principle, Wilfred Bion

Values

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