“We talk so much about leadership and the need for more good nonprofit leaders, that we tend to forget about the flip side. Bad leadership exists, too.”
In this blog post from early July on her blog Perspectives From the Pipeline, Rosetta Thurman describes her fascination with Barbara Kellerman’s book on bad leadership, especially Kellerman’s explanation that just as there can be bad leaders, there also can be bad followers.
Thurman’s conclusion based on that notion:
“We as nonprofit employees need to be good followers of our executive directors and boards. However, we also need to be ethical in our obedience and be more dedicated to our cause than to our beloved bosses. I can’t help but be convinced that most nonprofit scandal and fraud only occurs because individuals within the organization don’t speak up for what’s right. As good followers, and especially as young nonprofit professionals, we also need to be courageous enough to challenge our leaders when they are wrong and especially if they behave unethically.
“The sweet irony? This, dear readers, is how followers become leaders. And to be able to address the leadership pipeline issues facing the nonprofit sector in the next decade, we need to focus on cultivating the good followers we already have in our organizations. They will surely be the ones to step up as our future leaders. And be good ones at that.”
— July 5, “Now Let’s Not Forget About Good Followship” (http://fromthepipeline.blogspot.com)