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The Courageous Follower: Standing Up to and for Our Leaders Third Edition Edition

24 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1605092737
ISBN-10: 1605092738
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The Courageous Follower: Standing Up to and for Our Leaders + Followership: How Followers Are Creating Change and Changing Leaders (Center for Public Leadership) + The Art of Followership: How Great Followers Create Great Leaders and Organizations
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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.

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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: 6.6 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #57,165 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ira Chaleff is an author, speaker, workshop presenter and innovative thinker on the beneficial use of power between those who are leading and those who are following in any given situation.

His groundbreaking book, "The Courageous Follower: Standing Up To and For Our Leaders," is in its third edition, has been published in multiple languages and is in use in institutions around the globe including educational, corporate, government and military organizations. He is coeditor of "The Art of Followership: How Great Followers Make Great Leaders and Organizations," part of the highly regarded Warren Bennis Leadership Series. He has written on the appropriate use of power in non-traditional settings in his creative non-fiction work, "The Limits of Violence: Lessons of a Revolutionary Life."

Ira's latest book, "Intelligent Disobedience: Doing Right When What You're Told To Do Is Wrong," is once again breaking new ground by exploring the deep cultural roots of obedience and how to equip individuals of all ages to resist inappropriate orders and find better ways and ethical means of achieving legitimate goals.

He is the founder of the International Leadership Association's Followership Learning Community and a member of the ILA board of directors. He is also the founder and president of Executive Coaching & Consulting Associates, which provides coaching, consulting, and facilitation to companies, associations, and agencies throughout the Washington, DC area. He is chairman emeritus of the nonpartisan Congressional Management Foundation and has provided facilitation to nearly one hundred congressional offices to improve their service to constituents. He is adjunct faculty at Georgetown University, where Courageous Followership is part of the core curriculum in its professional management training for staff.

Ira holds a degree in Applied Behavioral Science and is a Board Certified Coach from the Center for Credentialing and Education.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Serge J. Van Steenkiste on September 8, 2004
Format: Paperback
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).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sandi Bumpus on January 22, 2003
Format: Hardcover
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!
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Susan R. Meyer VINE VOICE on August 30, 2007
Format: Paperback
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.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By EmilyB on October 3, 2004
Format: Paperback
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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Theresa Rich on February 19, 2010
Format: Paperback
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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By cachkn46 on 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.
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