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being a good follower

Not everybody gets to be a leader, obviously, so most of us are followers. So what makes a good follower?

6 of 9
Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Respect your boss
Don't promise what you can't deliver
Deliver what you promise, when you promise it
Tell your boss your doubts; watch his back

That's a start.


Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Picking the right leader to follow.

Just me (Sir to you)
Tuesday, January 27, 2004

"Love thy neighbour as thyself" says it all.

A good follower will respect himself, will expect and receive the respect of others, and will offer it in return.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Manage your boss. Make sure you provide everything they need to make their decisions.

Passive-aggressive behaviour is right out. If you had differing opinions on something in the past, and you turned out to be correct, don't mention it.

Don't be afraid to disagree.  Defend your position, and your argument. And then drop it.

Be honest, and do what you said you would. When you screw up, and it will happen, face up to it.

Don't ever disrespect your leader behind their backs.

Pretty much the same qualifications for being a good human being.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

The great thing about being human is that there are some humans with IQs three standard deviations above the norm. 

In other primate social structures, there are only two strata:  the leaders and the followers.  In human societies, there are three strata.  There exist the leaders - the alphas - who are typically kind of stupid.  There are followers - who are usually exceedingly stupid.  And there are the others - the third group not found in lower primate societies. 

Among the others are usually the humans with IQs three standard deviations above the norm.  The smartest people, I find, typically could become alphas, but find it kind of extremely distasteful & time consuming.  I think most of the brightest people just don't want to waste their energy constantly marking and protecting their territory.  Better thing to do than participate in the big pissing contest.

I advocate being a subversive.  The other strata simply don't have the mental agility to protect themselves, and if you are a successful subversive, you end up getting your way while confusing the alphas into thinking your behaviour was their idea in the first place.

Adam N
Tuesday, January 27, 2004


Now that should go on domeones resume's coverletter somewhere, that will etit read

the artist formerly known as prince
Tuesday, January 27, 2004

To add to the existing posts; one word: Loyalty

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

o - work independently
o - report progress in a timely manner
o - provide technical or strategic advice
o - alert boss to major issues
o - talk to your boss first before going over his head (i.e., to your boss's boss)
o - in the end, do what you're asked to do even when you don't agree with it
o - get along with co-workers

One of my favorite quotes:
"In order to lead, one must first learn to follow"
(some Roman general, I think)

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Do what I say.  Obey my commands unquestioningly, no matter how evil they are.  Abase yourself before my ineffable edicts.  Carry out my every whimsy.  Bring me biscuits.  And a cup of tea.

Or, you know, do what everyone else here is saying.  Hmm, does following more people make you a better follower, I wonder?

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

If you must follow, don't do it so closely.  Otherwise the leader could suddenly stop, turning you into a brown nose.

Joe AA
Tuesday, January 27, 2004

I second Adam N. Subversive is good. There aren't many managers I trust.

I do what they say if I trust them; if I don't then I subvert, whether that means moving sideways or going skunkworks.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

I read a book about this on time.  It was called "Getting things done when you are not in charge."  It was one of the most depressing books I've ever read.

christopher baus (
Wednesday, January 28, 2004


that is so quack it reeks of pseudo science. Use some scientific terminology that sounds familiar to most and then proceed to mix it up into utter nonsense.
"The great thing about being human is that there are some humans with IQs three standard deviations above the norm"
You are talking about the property of a normal distribution, that has nothing to do with the "types" of the instances. You might as well say "The great thing about being buffoon is that there are some buffoons with IQs three standard deviations above the norm", as long as buffoon IQ distribution is normal.

Any letter you write about "strata" is so utterly wrong, it is hard to even begin to comment.
Your whole "I am a subversive, subversives are the cream of the crop, we are so advanced we piss on you pathetics, the only reason we do not rule is because we find it beneath us" is just pompous selfinfatuated mastrubation of the worst kind.

If you are under 21, don't worry, it's normal. If not, o well. Some of us are just late bloomers.

Sure, there can be a lot more types identified besides leader and follower, also in animals other than humans, but what has any of that got to do with IQ?

Just me (Sir to you)
Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Read "Monsterous Regiment " -  and learn how to manage Ruperts.  Rupert management is very, very important.  Without it you have to follow someone where he wants to go not where you want him to go.

Example -  I once had a (non-profit) management committee member who would occasionally appear.  If you threw him some good news on arrival he was nice all day.  If you didn't he would be stroppy all day.  Answer, keep a stack of good news no matter how trivial to throw at in him as soon as he walked in.

a cynic writes...
Wednesday, January 28, 2004

"Sure, there can be a lot more types identified besides leader and follower, also in animals other than humans, but what has any of that got to do with IQ?"

I agree with the original poster.  Leaders tend to be of the ilk of GW Bush or Al Gore.  In other words, leaders tend to be dullards.

Adam N
Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Find a nice job in IT at a big company, or in government.  Stay out of everybody's way for thirty years.  Retire without much work at all.  888

Monday, February 2, 2004

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