Leader: a person who guides (boss, captain, director, commander, etc.)
Follower: a person who imitates another in regard to his or her ideas or beliefs (admirer, advocate, devotee, fan, etc.)
While some associate strongly with one trait over another, both are ultimately important in an academic and work environment. Both followers and leaders are needed in order to create a successful end result. The following questions will help students identify themselves as either the “leader” or the “follower” type.
Qualities of a leader:
1. During a group project do you usually feel comfortable stepping up and telling others what to do?
Generally leaders are willing to take on responsibility and distribute that responsibility to other people. They are able to direct their peers in a professional way and oversee a final product.
2. If you have a problem with work or school do you tend to worry about it silently?
Leaders more so tend to worry about issues or problems of a company or a project at large. This is why they work well with followers who can willingly share needed information with them to help alleviate stress and pressure. They see an assignment as their main responsibility and are concerned with doing well and succeeding.
3. Do you generally like to give advice and constructive criticism to others? Do you feel good when you help others?
Students who are leaders are natural born mentors. They feel comfortable acting as a coach or an adviser and giving useful advice and recommendations to those around them.
4. Some words you would use to describe yourself are: charismatic, confident and assertive.
Leaders are often considered to obtain these qualities. They appear charming and poised in the eyes of their peers and are confident and forward in their decisions.
5. If your friends or roommates are in a fight, do you tend to take one persons side over another?
Leaders are often very confident in their opinions and beliefs. They work hard to persuade others of their ideas and are very much self-assured, which is why others look up to them.
Qualities of a follower:
1. During a group project are you more likely to take direction from someone else in the group?
Followers tend to be more comfortable being told what to do and working more behind the scenes to achieve a common goal. They take direction well and like having someone guide them through a process.
2. If you have a problem with work or school are you usually willing to talk about it with someone?
Students who are followers are often considered good communicators. They are able to relay a problem to their boss or professor and are proactive in sharing important information. They work in the interest of the company as a whole.
3. In general do you take criticism and suggestions well?
Often times followers will take critiques and suggestions with a positive attitude. They are able to transform criticism into proactive actions that benefit a goal at large.
4. Some words you would use to describe yourself are: hard working, proactive and passionate.
Followers have a very strong work ethic. They work well out of the spotlight and take direction and feedback very well. They are passionate about the end goal and are dedicated to getting there.
5. If your friends or roommates are in a fight do you usually try to mediate get them to hear the other persons side?
Followers are good at seeing someone else’s perspective. They are open to new ideas and strategies and willing to work with someone else’s plan. They are concerned with getting many opinions and ideas in order to achieve the best possible goal.