Sample Research Paper on Leadership and Followership


Typically, every leader has several followers. However, the contemporary leadership
industry encompasses the proposals that leaders matter a great deal while ignoring the
implication of cohorts. Good leadership encompasses gathering valuable skills from courses,
books, articles, and workshops about appropriate skills. Consequently, everybody is determined
to comprehend the factors that make people excel as leaders. On the other hand, available
literature on followers tends to explain certain behavior in the context of leadership rather than
assuming that followers are amorphous. As a result, we ignore that followers who tag along
aimlessly are unique from those who are deeply devoted. However, in reality, the distinctions
among types of followers are as important as distinctions among leaders. An interaction of
cultural and technological changes have affected what followers want and how they behave
concerning their ostensible bosses. Hence, leaders must understand the significance of better
acknowledging their followers and the evolving dynamics between leaders and followers to offer
a new typology of appreciating and determining the distinctions among subordinates. These
distinctions are vital for describing how leaders and managers should go about their operations.


Leadership and Followership

Effective leadership is a critical aspect in managing organizations. However, if teams fail
to actualize the vision, even the most reputable leaders will not achieve their objectives. This is
why the aspect of followership is a crucial that is often overlooked in the organizational setting.
As such, firms are dedicating substantial resources to identify potential leaders and grooming
them to ascend the hierarchy and enhance performance. Nonetheless, the success or failure of
organizations depends in part to the actions and conduct of followers. Just as not all employees
do not make suitable leaders, not all employees qualify as effective followers. Hence, it is crucial
to understand one’s weaknesses and cultivate the strengths that promote effective leadership and
followership to enhance organizational interaction and performance.
Leadership Strengths

Exceptional leadership skills make leaders to stand out besides enhancing interactions
with employees, colleagues and clients. My most outstanding strengths are high empowerment
and exceptional delegation ability. Another valuable attribute I possess is democracy. In the
position of a leader, it is important to appreciate that people do their best when granted self-
control and freedom to explore different avenues of accomplishing organizational goals. Besides,
it is a valuable trait as it promotes innovation and creativity in the work setting.

Leadership Weaknesses

Every leader has their weaknesses that they must address to become great leaders. On my
side, I am selfish and less creative. The selfish attribute manifests in the way I accept rewards for
good team performance but would not want blames when the team fails. Regarding creativity, I
tend to confine my mind to established protocols when dealing with crisis in the setting, which

limits the exploration of other suitable options. Besides, I mostly rely on intuitive feelings when
finding a solution to a problem instead of intelligently brainstorming to get the best possible

Followership Strengths

Followership strengths are the trait that enable individuals to perform well in the pursuit
on functional goals. First, as exemplary follower. I always put more initiative and try to perform
in any assigned task proficiently. Besides, I am usually friendly and very honest with those I
work with. I also respect and conform to the leaders' instructions. Even when a leader asks me to
do something that I consider wrong, I will do it as long as the blame would be theirs.

Followership Weaknesses

The failure of organizations partly relies on how ineffective leaders are, but partly due to
the underperformance of their followers. I am sometimes hard-headed and non-conforming to
some guidelines that I do not believe in. For example, I do not like to be strictly controlled when
doing my job. Also, I often prefer to suggest what I should be doing to my supervisor since I am
the one who is responsible for my work.

The Relevance of the above Findings to Healthcare Administration
Effective leadership and followership in healthcare administration require an individual
to possess some particular traits. According to Lega, Prenestini, and Rosso (2017) and Leung et
al. (2018), a healthcare leader's most important leadership skills include strong communication,
negotiation, and delegation skills. These skills are important in healthcare because the field
requires good coordination between different personnel to deliver good healthcare services to a
patient (Sfantou et al., 2017). On the followers’ side, Alloubani and Akhu-Zaheya, L. (2018)
suggest that members should have overlapping values to swiftly switch from leadership to

followership roles when there is a need. Also, Cope and Murray (2017) point out that a good
follower in healthcare does not merely serve the leader but rather serves as their complements. In
other words, a follower should support as well as challenge the leader in some situations. Based
on these aspects and my findings on my leadership and followership skills, I am a good leader
and follower.

Followership and Leadership Development Plan

Good followership is a desirable trait that should be nurtured. According to Bonica and
Hartman (2018) and Whitlock (2013), the best ways to improve one's followership skills are
practicing and developing a passion for being a good follower. Individuals should always be
proud of being followers if they want to nurture their followership strengths. Boothe, Yoder-
Wise, and Gilder (2019) suggest that individuals can appreciate the followership role by applying
the golden rule in their thinking; individuals should be the followers they would wish to lead.
Followership Development Plan for Five Years
In five years, I want to be seen as the epitome of exemplary followership in the
organization to enhance my productivity and of those around me. I want to make the setting in
the organization more amicable and enhancing such that all people I have worked for and with
can distinguish the significant differences I have caused in the setting.
Year One: Establish the Baseline
I will first establish a baseline by learning about followership and assessing my current
level of confidence. I will read at least one book every quarter about followership or reputable
persons. I will also introduce a journal to make notes of persons and characteristics I want to take

after. I will interview 3-4 leaders that I admire to understand what makes them unique; lastly, I
will take a followership 360-degree assessment to evaluate the progress over the course.
Year Two: Getting a Coach and Establishing Specific Goals
After assessing my competency level, I will proceed by identifying specific goals to
achieve in the next four years. I will work closely with my leaders and an executive coach to
identify the followers' goals that align with the business. I will also enrol for monthly sessions
with an executive coach for the next 12 months. To enhance my follower skills, I will read two
or more books and perform two interviews with distinguished personalities to inform the specific
goals I am trying to follow.
Year Three: Trial by Fire
Given an opportunity, I will assume a different capacity to enable me to begin working
on my assignment. I will identify 2-3 experts to help me through the numerous challenges. I will
check in with my executive coach throughout the year. I will also read 2-3 books and journals
about how to get over my responsibilities and challenges in the new role. Lastly, I will
comprehensively fill, follow, and reflect on a journal.
Year Four
I will purpose to attend a followership development program besides advancing my new
role. I will regularly check in with support networks to enhance my capacity. Lastly, I will read
1-2 books or equivalents to enhance my knowledge and quest to be an effective follower.
Year Five
Take on new responsibilities with my vision. I will perform another 360 assessment to
evaluate the perceptions of other of me in my new role. I will also identify 3-4 persons to mentor

on followership in the organization. Lastly, I will write an inspiration post based on my five-year
journal to inspire readers about excellent followership skills.
Exemplary leadership requires an individual to constantly reflect and self-evaluate their
strengths and weakens with an improvement intent. Barr and Dowding (2019) and Everett (2016)
concur that the best way to develop leadership skills or strengths is by taking more
responsibilities. Regarding some particular leadership traits such as creativity, Barr, and
Dowding (2019) suggest that the best way to improve is by disrupting one's status quo. We
should be finding a way to move away from the normal constructively.
Plan for Continuous leadership development
Within five years, I want my colleagues to view me as a role model leader. I would like
to be that kind of leader who influences and inspire the entire organization positively. I want to
make considerable changes in the lives and careers of those I lead and work with.
Year One: Establishing the Baseline
The initial stages will involve learning about leadership and evaluating my current level
of competence. I will target to read at least 3-4 books about leadership and personalities I admire
to understand what makes them tick. I will also interview four personalities I admire to gain
insights of enhancing my performance. Besides, I will begin to write a journal about the great
leadership qualities that I want to emulate.
Year Two: Getting a Coach and Establishing Specific Targets
This stage will involve setting an objective to accomplish over the next four years. I will
engage my manager and an executive coach to provide insights about developing my leadership

skills. I will also complete reading two or more books and journals about becoming a pragmatic
leader and enhance my capacity to lead transformational change. I will also focus on identifying
challenges that will provide an opportunity to demonstrate my leadership skills.
Year Three: Lead by Example
This will involve assuming tasks that are more challenging. I will consult with 3-4
experts to provide insights about the new responsibilities and schedule monthly meetings to
monitor development. I will also consult with my executive coach and support networks
regularly over the year to monitor development and draw inspirations. Lastly, I will continue
recording and reflecting on my journal.
Year Four: Enhancing Knowledge
I will enrol with some comprehensive programs, including assessment and coaching
programs to expand my knowledge on transformative leadership. I will attend several leadership
conferences to interact with renowned leaders and gain insights from them. A support network
will be vital to enhance my leadership skills. Lastly, I will complete reading 3-4 books about
transformative leadership and continue recording my journal.
Year Five
I will pursue a new responsibility that aligns with my vision. I will also perform a 360-
degree assessment to understand the perceptions of others about me in my new role. For the sake
of setting up a dynamic organization, I will mentor three employees on leadership and monitor
their development. Finally, I will write a book about transformative leadership based on my five



Leadership and followership are characterized by active engagement is the pursuit of
organizational objectives. In most cases this implies working independently, accountability, and
ownership if necessary tasks. In this context, it is crucial to acknowledge that followership is
more about the role and not an individual. Evidence on management indicates that employees
who thrive at followership often make excellent leaders. As such, it is critical to cultivate
followers just as it is to develop strong leaders. Besides, it can be the initial phases of developing
effective leadership.



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Barr, J., & Dowding, L. (2019). Leadership in health care. SAGE Publications Limited.
Bonica, M. J., & Hartman, C. (2018). Managing Up and Followership: Competencies for First-
Year Health Administrators. Journal of Health Administration Education, 35(3), 327-
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Sfantou, D., Laliotis, A., Patelarou, A., Sifaki- Pistolla, D., Matalliotakis, M., & Patelarou, E.
(2017). Importance of leadership style towards the quality of care measures in healthcare
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