S#!t Happens – How we Respond is what Matters

💩 happens.

How we respond matters.

As a follower you have two real choices. 1. point out leadership’s mistakes and errors. 2. Show how improvement is possible.

When the 💩 hits the fan and a decision goes off the rails how are you going to respond?

“I told you this was a bad idea!” – obnoxious self-righteous 🍑
“This was never going to work but I didn’t want to rock the boat” – obedient self-preserving yes person


“We tried this. These parts were good and here’s how we can move forward. What do you think about trying to do x, y, z this iteration.” Courageous activist follower.

I know most of us think that it is leadership’s role to get us through the 💩. But leaders need followers who are willing to fail and get back up if they are going to change the world.

That means followers need to support the leader even in failure.

I’m not saying leadership doesn’t have to take responsibility for failure. That is a big part of leadership.

But if a leader is to take that responsibility then they need followers who will work with them when failure happens.

And great leaders will encourage their followers to see the brighter future when the 💩 is getting to thick to wade through. They will pick up a shovel and help dig.

But they are more likely to do so when the follower has demonstrated that they are on the same team and are willing to work with the leader, even when things get wonky. Or when a leader has made a poor decision that leads to failure.

#BeCourageous in your followership. Don’t make the leader feel worse when leaders find themselves up 💩 creek without a paddle. Throw them a line. Bring a paddle and row. The leader feels bad enough as it is. See how you can help right the boat, get it moving to shore, and support them.

In the long run you will gain more by being a supportive follower than a post-failure critic.

Beside – being a post-failure critic (even if you did say that the decision wasn’t wise) makes you look like a piece of 💩. And no-one wants a smelly lump of excrement on their team.


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