The Head of the Department of Political Science at Skyline University Nigeria has conducted a Staff Development Programme (SDP) training session for the operational staff of the university. The training is part of the university’s goal-setting initiative for academic staff.
Mr. Farid Illo, the HOD of Political Science Department and the facilitator said the session was to unveil the importance of followership in building effective leadership within an institution. He said oftentimes, “Employees focus on understanding the leadership structure obtainable in an organization without assessing their followership roles as key elements in the overall leadership”.
Presenting his paper titled ‘“Followership; The Other Side of Leadership in 21st Century”, Mr. Illo stated that it is impossible to lead without followers. He acknowledged that there is indeed a paucity of literature and a lack of interest in studying followership when compared to leadership which has enormous resources according to research. This is particularly because of the quest for leadership.
Mr. Illo highlighted that 5 categories of followers are found within an institution or organization. Every employee could fall under a single category. The categories which he culled from the work of Barbara Kellerman are Isolates, Bystanders, Participants, Activists and Diehards.
He said the level of participation within an organization is the major determinant that defines the category of an individual. From the Isolates to the Diehards the level of participation increases. All other categories within the two major ones determine the level of an employee’s involvement or detachment from institutional leadership activities. He said one has to find a middle ground between the two extremes in order to support organizational goals and objectives.
According to one of the participants. Ms. Hafsat Usman, the events coordinator at SUN, the session was practical and impactful. She said the facilitator has addressed a crucial issue that is quite neglected in building successful leadership structures within institutions.
In closing, the facilitator said he is absolutely impressed with the participation of the staff and is hopeful they would put to effective use what they have learnt.