Followership, or Leading Up in Libraries in Brief

  • Dawn Lowe-Wincentsen Oregon Institute of Technology
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In the 2008 text, The Art of Followership, Chaleff, Riggio, and Lippman-Blumen lay out five traits of effective followers: courage to assume responsibility, courage to serve, courage to challenge, courage to participate, and courage to take moral action. In his 2015 text, Followership: What It Takes to Lead, James Schindler lists four attributes that successful followership is built on: belief in the mission, willingness to work toward the good of the whole, loyalty, and unity of focus. Authenticity also plays a part in both leadership and followership. As a follower, being authentic can help a person be intentional and help them guide leadership with confidence (Schindler, 2015). Leaders do not have all the power (Kean and Haycock-Stuart, 2011). One needs followers to lead.

There is much more literature available on followership than what is covered here. However, instead of a thorough literature review, readers can contemplate their own actions as followers, and those of the people with whom they have worked. What is most effective in your work, and with your leadership? If you are the leader, what can you do to support and cultivate these types of traits in those that you work with?


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Author Biography

Dawn Lowe-Wincentsen, Oregon Institute of Technology

Dawn Lowe-Wincentsen is the Interim Director of Libraries at Oregon Institute of Technology. She is also the Portland Metro Campus librarian for Oregon Tech where she has been for the past 10 years. Prior to that Dawn has been at Florida State University and Louisiana State University. She has written books and articles on both leadership and followership for library and information professionals.

How to Cite
Lowe-Wincentsen, D. (2018). Followership, or Leading Up in Libraries in Brief. OLA Quarterly, 24(2), 26-28.