An ILA Leadership Perspectives Webinar

Essentials of Followership: When You Finally Realize That Leadership Isn’t Enough.

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with Dr. Mike Linville, Dr. Mark Rennaker, & Anissa Goehring (moderator)

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After many years and publications in search of the holy grail of specific leader traits, behaviors, or styles to create more effective organizations, the leadership discipline has given rise to many insights and ideas that work…sometimes. Certainly, leaders matter and findings in the field suggest some consistent character, competence, and conduct dimensions that tend to align to good leadership. However, the focus on leaders and leadership often has led to overlooking or underestimating the importance of followers and followership. Followers often have been associated with passive roles and doing what they are told. The result has been a mindset in both the discipline as well as society at large that leaders are more important than followers and that people should strive to be a leader and not a follower.

In their new book, Essentials of Followership: Rethinking the Leadership Paradigm with Purpose, Dr. Mike Linville and Dr. Mark Rennaker explore the growing field of followership and discover that followers matter far more than we think they do. Although the simple act of following might be considered passive, followership is something entirely different. Effective followers are proactive. They demonstrate engagement, constructive challenge, critical thinking, leader/other support, and collaboration. While leaders exert leadership influence on followers, followers exert followership influence on leaders and other followers. 

In this webinar, attendees will learn: 

  • Leadership and followership are part of something larger: Purposeship
  • The differences between following and followership
  • The often unrecognized fluidity of the leader and follower roles
  • Key principles of followership
  • Leader + Follower + Organizational Context + Purpose = The Leadership System
Mike Linville

Michael W. Linville is an Associate Professor in Indiana Wesleyan University’s Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership program. He holds several certifications in areas such as leadership, emotional intelligence, and personality typology, including Ira Chaleff’s Followership Train the Trainer program. Combining 15 years of corporate experience with over 25 years of international nonprofit experience (including four years directing a college in Kiev), Linville was awarded Dragomanov University’s Silver Medallion Award in 2009 for his service and contribution to education in Ukraine. He also leads an international nonprofit organization that he founded in 2001 and is the cofounder and senior advisor of a leadership think tank based in Ukraine. He regularly presents at various conferences and consults with both for profit and nonprofit organizations.

Mark Rennaker

Mark A. Rennaker is chair of the Department of Leadership Studies at Indiana Wesleyan University. He served 30 years in faith-based and non-profit leadership roles at local, regional, and national levels. He has also served a variety of leadership roles during 15 years of higher education experience. Certified with Ira Chaleff’s Followership Train the Trainer program, he has multiple research interests including servant-leadership, trust, followership, and human resource development. Rennaker regularly presents on leadership, followership, and higher education topics at national and international academic and professional conferences, including the International Leadership Association’s Annual Global Conference. He consults with organizations and speaks at various events.

Anissa Goehring

Anissa Goehring (Moderator), Project Manager; Gwynedd Mercy University

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