Courageous Followership

Guests: Neil Grunberg & Ira Chaleff

Season: 9   Episode: 3


“He who cannot be a good follower, cannot be a good leader.”

Aristotle shared that wisdom over 2,000 years ago, but today we chafe at being labeled a follower. Yet, as Ira Chaleff and Neil Grunberg point out, if no one is following, then no one can be leading, either!


Followership is critical in any organization. Think of followership and leadership as a yin and yang: each of us needs to be good at both of them, and each of us needs to know when to play which role.  It all depends on the context. Most critically, be a courageous follower: one with the values and integrity to let your leader know when things are amiss. Enron is a classic warning about what happens when an organization doesn’t have courageous followers!

Here’s what Ira, Neil, and Maureen cover:

  • The importance of standing up to and for your leader (even at the same time);
  • How strict hierarchies distort the flow between follower and leader, slowing down the organization; and
  • Why a lack of courageous followership leads to catastrophes at work (such as Enron) and in our personal lives (such as Uvalde and other mass tragedies).


Other episodes for further learning:


Neil Grunberg & Ira Chaleff

Listen On:




Innovative Leadership, Leading with Care, Team Effectiveness, Workforce Development


Followership, Courageous Follower,