Across the planet, leadership is a relevant and popular topic. It is heavily researched and widely championed from the time we are children to the end of our lives. But when was the last time you heard a school teacher, a CEO, a pastor, or a manager tout the benefits of being a follower and place that emphasis on equal footing with promoting leaders? “Followership is a process whereby an individual or individuals accept the influence of others to accomplish a common goal.” It is not a term we hear mentioned often yet it is a very important concept.
Ralph went to the National Training Center (NTC) in California serving as the Fire Support Officer (FSO) for an infantry battalion scheduled to be evaluated. Ralph looked at the terrain model as the battalion staff discussed what tactics they should choose on their upcoming day of battle. He realized that it was very similar to terrain he had trained on with a Cavalry unit. As the leaders selected their preferred course of action he disagreed and felt they were heading into a trap. The battalion commander (BC) asked him to share his ideas. So Ralph passionately laid out a battle strategy that he was sure would defeat the opposition. His senior leaders agreed with him and the next day they won their battle decisively.