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Week 4: Leader- Follower Relationships

I have 2 discussion- both need to be 3-4 paragraphs each. I will also need 2 replies each for my classmates (but I will send their replies once I submit my initial response)

What are the hallmarks of an organizational landscape within which accomplishment and excellence are generated? Consider the impact of trust, respect, support, and shared vision to both leaders and followers. When these elements are present, relationships between leaders and followers can often be described as co-creative partnerships.

These descriptive terms may appear untrue when considering roles within formal, hierarchical organizations, such as the military. While formally, the roles of each individual may appear to be defined, in actuality, it is likely that both people are being shaped by each other—taking turns as emotional leaders and followers.

Consider how you relate with others when you are feeling successful and supported. In your experience, do these positive feelings have an effect on your productivity? What about storytelling? How does storytelling play a role in these relationships?

  • Siberian shamans…
  • Roaming minstrels of Medieval times…
  • Native peoples around a campfire…
  • Poets in coffeehouses in the 1960s…

Each of these groups shares a heritage of storytelling that brings meaning to shared experiences. They have all served as vehicles for the codification of communal beliefs.

This week, you will examine leader–follower relationships and explore how storytelling can serve as a powerful tool to build positive relationships within an organizational culture.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this week, you should be able to:
  • Describe a leader–follower relationship through storytelling
  • Summarize research findings related to leader–follower relationships
  • Convey meaning through the use of storytelling

Discussion 1: Co-Creative Relationships

Leaders and followers can be considered co-creators of organizational culture. “Metaphorically, their activities are two sides of the same coin, the two it takes to tango, the composer and the musicians making music, the female and male generating new life, the yin and the yang. Followers and leaders develop a relationship wherein they influence one another as well as the organization and society, and that is leadership” (Rost, 1991, p. 107).

Recall a time when you served in either the role of leader or follower, but due to circumstances, you ended up playing the “other side of the coin.” If you cannot recall a personal experience, retell a story you have heard, read, or researched about a time when followers became leaders or vice versa.

Discussion 2: New Employee Orientation

Stories are imaginative and evocative ways of illustrating culture—ways no corporate manual can rival. New employees and volunteers have a special need for storytelling, as they become indoctrinated into the organizational culture, learning the unspoken rules for how to succeed and what to avoid.

Imagine you have been asked to give a brief talk at your organization’s New Employee Orientation. You are asked to “share a little bit about what it has been like for you to work for this organization.” Compose a story that will allow a new cultural member to gain key insight into the norms and expectations of the group.

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