Book Review: Followership

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The business section of your friendly neighborhood bookstore is stuffed with tomes about the corporate titans of our era, be they masters of commerce or cautionary tales.  But it’s also beginning to swell with books about a new paradigm, in which power often falls to the many instead of the few, in which communities of consumers and other interested parties drive product innovation and, in some cases, sea changes in corporate behavior.

Followership examines the dynamic in detail, from Adolf Hitler to Don Imus.  Kellerman draws from history and management theory to assert that being a follower isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  She identifies five basic types – isolates, bystanders, participants, activists, and diehards –  and explains how they function, and the effect they’ve had in various situations.  Aspiring captains of industry can relax – Kellerman isn’t predicting their future irrelevance.  But she does present a persuasive case that leaders should respond creatively and proactively to the communities they lead if they want to remain ahead of the pack.

Buy Followership: How Followers Are Creating Change and Changing Leaders at

Image courtesy of Harvard Kennedy School