So many leadership books… why are there none on following?!

There are aisles of books on leadership. Some great nuggets out there, like “the trick to leadership is keeping the people who hate you away from those who are still undecided.” And, “if you want to be a leader, find a parade and get in front of it.” Good stuff!

But, for every leader, there must be at least one or two followers, right? Shouldn’t the followers be brushing up on their skills too? But, there are few, if any, books on the subject. Are followers reluctant to hone their following abilities?

Is that why all the leadership books are needed; because leaders have to find creative ways to motivate reluctant followers? Is the major problem of leadership that followers just won’t follow? Nah!

Maybe the problem for some organizations is that everyone is shopping in the Leadership aisle at the bookstore. If everyone wants to lead, then there is no one left to follow… And, if there is no one following, then the leader is just taking a walk by herself.

In the end, we are each following someone or something — even our actual and so-called leaders. Given that, it seems to me that a good book on following is long over-due. Anyone following me???


  1. Jesse on July 7, 2020 at 7:10 pm

    If you write one, I will buy it. For now, there’s book I like to read every day has good stuff for leaders, but is mainly about surrender and becoming a follower. Lots of good material in there. You know the book!

    • Michael Freed on July 8, 2020 at 1:03 pm

      A great book indeed. Maybe there only needs to be that one…. That said, it does say something about us that everyone wants to/thinks they are – THE LEADER! Thanks for reading and responding. I hope to see you at a future @Freedtolaugh show.

  2. Jess Johnson on July 8, 2020 at 9:42 pm

    Hamilton’s Aaron Burr said “Talk less, smile more.” Good advice for both leaders and followers?

    • Michael Freed on July 9, 2020 at 3:13 pm

      True that…though I’m not sure I agree with “…don’t let em know what you’re against or what you’re for.”

  3. Followership is a real thing. It’s about learning to support your fellow followers and cultivating an atmosphere of collaboration with your leader. Something along the lines of having a mutual understanding of “I’m not going to tell you what I think you want to hear. I will tell you what I believe you need to know.” Good leaders cultivate and empower good followers. If a leader is not worth following, you need a new leader.
    Followership authors: Hamlin, Kellerman, Riggio, Chaleff, and Liipman-Blumen

    • Michael Freed on October 16, 2023 at 12:49 pm

      Thank you. Very interesting.

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