The Courageous Follower: Standing Up to and for Our Leaders and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

To view this video download Flash Player


Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering
More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Start reading The Courageous Follower: Standing Up to and for Our Leaders on your Kindle in under a minute.

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

The Courageous Follower: Standing Up to and for Our Leaders [Paperback]

by Ira Chaleff
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

List Price: $22.95
Price: $17.80 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
You Save: $5.15 (22%)
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.
Want it tomorrow, April 25? Choose One-Day Shipping at checkout. Details
Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Amazon Student


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition $11.99  
Hardcover --  
Paperback $17.80  
Audible Audio Edition, Unabridged $17.95 or Free with Audible 30-day free trial
Sell Us Your Books
Get up to 80% back when you sell us your books, even if you didn't buy them at Amazon. Learn more

Book Description

November 1, 2009 1605092738 978-1605092737 Third Edition
For every leader there are dozens of followers working closely with them. This book speaks to those followers and gives them the insights and tools for being effective partners with their leaders. It is a guide that can be kept on a bookshelf and referred to repeatedly when confronted with the challenges of supporting and, at times, correcting a dynamic leader. This new edition has been updated and expanded to speak to the widespread failures of leadership we have witnessed from 9/11 to the economic collapse. Boards of Directors, Senior Managers and staff who are loyal to the mission of their organizations, will all find the expanded edition more essential than ever to preventing and righting leadership wrongs and supporting and fostering values-based leadership efforts. The main change in the third edition will be adding a new chapter on 'The Courage to Speak to the Hierarchy'. In existing editions of the book the author asserts that proximity to the leader is a requisite for influencing the leader. But only a relative few people enjoy that proximity. What are the rest to do when orders come down that seem very ill advised? The author finds that he is increasingly coaching and training to this theme and will include guidance on how to handle such situations.

Frequently Bought Together

The Courageous Follower: Standing Up to and for Our Leaders + The Art of Followership: How Great Followers Create Great Leaders and Organizations + Followership: How Followers Are Creating Change and Changing Leaders (Center for Public Leadership)
Price for all three: $83.86

Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Business consultant Chaleff points out that most of us at different times are both leaders and followers. Many books, he notes, have explored and analyzed the former role but almost none the latter. Following is often stigmatized, he argues, as docility, weakness or failure to excel. His handbook shows that a courageous follower can be an enormous asset to a leader, and he pinpoints five dimensions in which that courage can be demonstrated: assuming responsibility, serving, challenging, participating in transformation and, given the worst-case scenario, leaving. The book should be of value for those working in businesses where "committeemanship," or team playing, is now the rule in executive ranks.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Scientific American

We are all leaders or followers-or both. The Courageous Follower is a comprehensive guide that gives us the tools to manage the virtues, values, and responsibilities of those roles. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers; Third Edition edition (November 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1605092738
  • ISBN-13: 978-1605092737
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.7 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #117,779 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Facts About Ira Chaleff

Ira Chaleff is a thought leader in the field of Followership and the founder and president of Executive Coaching & Consulting Associates.


Ira's book, The Courageous Follower: Standing Up To and For Our Leaders was first published in 1995 by Berrett-Koehler in San Francisco and was widely acclaimed. The original hardback edition was soon followed by a paperback printing.

The second expanded edition was published in 2002, also by Berrett-Koehler.It included a new chapter, "The Courage to Listen to Followers" designed to help leaders create the conditions that encourage courageous follower behaviors. The second edition was the Silver Winner of the Best Business Book of the Year award in 2002 from ForeWord Magazine, the magazine of independent publishers.

The revised 3rd edition was published in 2009 and includes a new chapter, The Courage to Speak to the Hierarchy. It examines the new power relationships that technology has created between the higher and lower levels of the hierarchy and the strategies for making a difference from any level of the hierarchy.

The Courageous Follower has been published in Chinese, Spanish, Korean, Italian, Japanese and also in a special Indian edition.

An award winning training video, Courageous Followers, Courageous Leaders: New Relationships for Changing Times, was produced based on the book.

Ira was the catalyst for the first national conference on Followership, hosted by the Kravis Leadership Institute of McKenna College and the Peter Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management at Claremont Graduate University.

Ira is co-editor of The Art of Followership: How Great Followers Create Great Leaders and Organizations, published in January, 2008 as part of the Warren Bennis Leadership Series by Jossey-Bass.

Ira heads the Followership Learning Community and its wiki ("The Followership Exchange") for the International leadership Association.

He has published and has been quoted in numerous articles on Followership and its emergence as a newly recognized field of study and practice.

Ira has conducted seminars and workshops on Followership for a wide range of audiences including NASA, The Brookings Institute, Ernst & Young, The Federal Executive Institute, The Federal Judicial Center, Georgetown University, The Graduate School of Public Accounting at the University of Wisconsin, and numerous other institutions, agencies and professional services firms.

The Courageous Follower has been incorporated into many curricula, including senior- and mid-level police officer training at virtually every level of the California Law Enforcement community. It was part of the syllabus for the first course on Followership taught (by Barbara Kellerman) at the John F.Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Ira has been cited by the Harvard Business Review as one of the three pioneers in the field of followership and has been named as one of the 100 best thinkers on leadership by Leadership Excellence magazine.

Contact Information:

Washington Office: Ira Chaleff, CMF/ECCA, 513 Capitol Court NE, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20002
Phone: 202 544 0097


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Fine Balancing Act of the Courageous Follower September 8, 2004
In The Courageous Follower, Chaleff focuses on the relationship existing between the formal leadership of an organization and the followers, all the people who ultimately report to the leadership team directly or indirectly. Chaleff also examines the interaction among followers within the leadership team in their relationship with the ultimate leader of the organization (pg. 14, 32).

Like Peter Drucker in The Essential Drucker, Ira Chaleff acknowledges right away that leadership may be informal and distributed throughout an organization (pg. 14). Knowledge workers, who are considered partners rather than employees, can only be helped. The close supervision of knowledge workers is often illusory because of their unique expertise.

Chaleff is conscious of the potential negative baggage associated with the word follower by making clear that a follower is not the same as a subordinate (pg. 15). Chaleff recognizes that being a courageous follower can be a risky proposition. Contingency plans are in any circumstances a necessity, whether the follower is courageous or not, in a fast-changing global economy (pg. 20-21, 163-165). However, a respectful individual who is not afraid to speak and act on the truth, despite the inequities in the relationship between employee and employer, is a force to be reckoned with (pg. 20, 25).

Not everybody is called upon to become and remain a courageous follower. Chaleff divides followers into four profiles that he calls respectively, implementer, resource, individualist and partner. Only the partner, who sooner rather than later dares to challenge on a regular basis the orthodoxy of the leadership team in a constructive, non-confrontational mode, can be counted on as a courageous follower (pg. 40-43, 51, 66, 103-104, 147-148).
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Important Concept; Format Distracting August 30, 2007
The concept of followership is important and often ignored in a sea of leadership materials.Chaleff has tackled an important issue, and for that he should be applauded. Most of the book is clear and easy to follow, with many lists that can be used to conduct training on being a strong follower. The ways in which followers support leaders and interact with each other are useful to anyone working with teams. Chaleff has also made changes in the second edition that make it easier for followers to take a stand instead of walking away.

Where the book falls short is primarily in design, in my opinion. The switch from single- to double-spacing made me feel like the editors were trying to stretch the material to meet a pre-set number of pages.Overall, though, the book provides much to think about.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Transforming! October 3, 2004
By EmilyB
This is a significant contribution to the workplace no matter the environment. Chaleff integrates sound principles of human decency with enormous respect for human potential. The result is a practical approach to managing yourself and your leader especially when the stakes are high.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
The Courageous Follower is one of the most important books on leadership I've ever read. It is clear that in one way or another, we ALL face the challenges of leadership, perhaps daily. However, it is rare that someone who has been designated a 'leader' considers that they are also a follower with a 'constinuency' - someone they answer to. This book discusses principles designed to encourage the follower AND leader to become assertive, communicative and accountable. Bravo to these brave authors for enlightening us to the art of followership!
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good; repetitive, and thin on content December 23, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book fell short of my expectations, based on some of the other reviews. The content is thin, and the author is rather repetitive, as if he is trying to spread the material out far enough to make a full length book, where a single chapter would have been sufficient. The double spacing which appears in sections of the book helps stretch it out, also, as another reviewer pointed out.

Most of the material seemed like common sense to me, but I should reveal that I do have an extensive background in psychology. Maybe the ideas in this book are new to those in the corporate world, so do consider reading it if you do not have much of a psych background.

It's a pretty good, rather quick and easy read, overall, but nothing earth shaking or terribly original.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Invaluable wisdom - wish I'd read this 20 years ago February 19, 2010
How often do we hear about organizational failures large and small that could have been averted if only...if only organization leaders knew what was known by people below them in the hierarchy...if only organization members who tried to warn leadership had been heard...if only people had the courage to speak?

This third edition of The Courageous Follower - Standing Up to & for Our Leaders provides invaluable wisdom applicable to every member of every organization. Rather than just admonish people to be transparent and make sure to speak the truth to people in power positions, Ira Chaleff teaches us precisely how to do it and how to avoid potential pitfalls along the way. It is helpful regardless of whether your role of the moment is as the follower or as the leader.

People seasoned in their careers will read this and wish they had read it 20 years before. Regardless of where people are in their careers and their organizations, they will be glad to have this teaching now.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Next to the Bible, The Courageous Follower offers people the next best...
All accross America people are becoming or have already become frustrated with our elected officials at the national, state, and local levels of government. Read more
Published 2 months ago by terry pittman
4.0 out of 5 stars Is courage the key to followership?
In my deep interest on the topic of followership, I finally was able to read Ira Chaleff's "The Courageous Follower. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Allen Hamlin
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the seminal works on Followership
While Kelley's works "In Praise of Followers" (in HBR) and "The Power of Followership" represent the genesis of modern Followership, I would say that Chaleff's book... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Resource for Leadership and Managing Up
Congratulations to Ira Chaleff for taking on a topic that virtually nobody else in popular management and leadership literature is willing to address. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Karyl
4.0 out of 5 stars used for class
wrote a good report on this with classmates for leadership class, but didn't like how the author spoke to a utopian society.
Published 14 months ago by animelee12
3.0 out of 5 stars Class Book
This is a book I got for class. So far so good. I'm sure it will stay in my collection as I read many books on leadership and following qualities.
Published 15 months ago by Sylvia Gray
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books I've read
This is such a wonderful book. I am reading it for a leadership class and I am passing it around at work. I will be reading it again, when I have further in my career. Read more
Published on December 1, 2011 by DeLissa
2.0 out of 5 stars Good Book but has no resale value
I bought this book for a pysc class. THe prof. said we would be able to resale it...ha ha nope
Published on May 15, 2011 by A. Snape
5.0 out of 5 stars Great leaders should also be great followers...and vice versa
It is important to keep in mind that a "follower" is not necessarily someone who never leads; rather, a follower is someone who, in a non-leader situation, nonetheless has ample... Read more
Published on July 27, 2010 by Robert Morris
4.0 out of 5 stars An Important Contriubtion to a Somewhat Neglected Field
This book provides valuable building blocks for the important but still evolving model of followership. Read more
Published on May 25, 2010 by Utopiandream
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


There are no discussions about this product yet.
Be the first to discuss this product with the community.
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Look for Similar Items by Category