Courageous Follower Day is observed on March 4 every year to shed light on the virtue of followership. Brought into order after Ira Chaleff’s groundbreaking book on leadership, “The Courageous Follower: Standing Up To and For Our Leaders,” the holiday encourages all of us to become responsible followers. The book has become a source of debate about the multifaceted aspects of leadership since its publication in 1995. A learned and organized follower is an asset to any leader. On Courageous Follower Day, we ditch the idea of rugged individualism and propagate the ethos of genuine followership.
History of Courageous Follower Day
In times of failure, the shadows of doubt and disappointments are cast solely on the leader. Absorbing the ire of the public is one of the responsibilities of a leader, but what about the followers? At the heart of every failed leadership, there lies a follower mentality that is ignored and underestimated. Ira Chaleff’s book “The Courageous Follower: Standing Up To and For Our Leaders” argues that the responsibility of failure belongs to a follower, as much as it does to the leader. Our view of leadership is stale and obsolete. Equipping the followers with the same level of responsibility as the leaders boosts their confidence and raises awareness about their role on the roadmap to success.
Our collective history is a testament to the fact that triumph is a result of courageous followership and determined leadership together. The holiday challenges the established notions of leadership, which puts the onus of failure and success in the hands of leaders alone. When in fact, bearing the fruits of successful leadership is the job of both leaders and followers. Every person possesses the qualities that make him a courageous leader and a follower at some point or the other in their life. In our journey of learning to become courageous followers, we can one day become effective leaders as well.
Courageous Follower Day urges us to relinquish the preached idea of rugged individualism and advocate for community-based followership. In his other books, Chaleff explores the meaning of followership in the context of obedience and the responsibility to resist unlawful and inappropriate demands of a leader.
Courageous Follower Day timeline
Chaleff releases the first edition of his book “The Courageous Follower: Standing Up To and For Our Leaders.”
The book gains prominence and is awarded Silver Winner of the Best Business Book of the Year by “Foreword” magazine.
The European Union School of Public Administration selects Courageous Followership as the central topic of its workshop.
Chaleff celebrates followership as a virtue and publishes another volume in the series of Courageous Followership.
Courageous Follower Day FAQs
What is Ira Chaleff’s original Courageous Followership model?
Chaleff’s original model of courageous followership lays out four ways of working in the group: assume responsibility, serve, challenge, and participate.
What is Chaleff typology?
Chaleff’s typology is based on follower participation. The idea of courageous leadership is incomplete without faithful participation from followers who can challenge their leaders.
What are the four types of followers?
According to Chaleff, the four types of followers are partner, implementer, resource, and individualist.
How to Observe Courageous Follower Day
Learn the principles of courageous followership
Author Ira Chaleff’s decades of behavior research into the subject matter has concluded five principles of courageous followership, namely serving, assuming responsibility, challenging authority, pledging faithful participation, and taking moral action. On Courageous Follower Day, understand these governing principles and emulate these values in your life.
Encourage leadership reciprocation
A meaningful step in becoming a courageous follower is having leadership that communicates with its people and gives timely feedback. We understand that it takes two to tango, and the onus of initiating the conversation lies on leaders. From individual analysis to group teachings, reciprocation is an essential part of building a cohort of courageous followers.
Spread the message
The stale idea of leadership is immensely popular, especially amongst the exceedingly cynical crowd. The default blame of failure is cast upon the leaders, which completely ignores the followers who should share equal responsibility. On March 4, share the lesson with the people, online and offline, and become the change you wish to see in the world.
5 Classic Movies With Epic Lessons On Leadership
“Remember The Titans,” 2000
The 2000 epic tale is the perfect story of Julius Campbell’s titans and their pathway to victory under the right guidance.
Maximus Decimus Meridius leads his army to an unimaginable triumph, all because of the courage of his followers.
“The Devil Wears Prada,” 2004
Often despised and widely hated, Miranda Priestley’s rigid guidance transformed the lives of her disciples.
“The Social Network,” 2010
Facebook’s enthralling origin story and the transformative and self-assured leadership of Mark Zuckerberg are still spoken about today.
“The Wolf of Wall Street,” 2013
Jordan Belfort’s creative and tough leadership was well rewarded by his cohort of an extraordinarily hard-working team.
Why Courageous Follower Day is Important
It sheds light on the importance of followership
Followers are equally responsible for the success and failure of any movement. The clustered nature of our struggles lets people off the hook, which isn’t fair to either party. Chaleff’s research and decades of assessments conclude that every failed conquest of history has one thing in common: the impunity of the followers.
It encourages participation
Courageous Follower Day provides us with a roadmap to become better followers and meet our collective goals. One of the five principles of being a courageous follower is pledging participation that goes beyond the attendance sheets and timely punch-ins.
It reveals the two sides of the leadership coin
Leadership and management are the two sides of the same coin. Ignoring one for the other is counterproductive and deeply wrong. When we bring all parties to the same level, we can demand and expect better results from them.
Courageous Follower Day dates