Sometimes you must follow [Lessons from the Road]

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 05-11-16

Before my Lessons from the Road column for IndustryWeek, I wrote one called Leading Lean for Assembly Magazine. Books are written about leading, a chapter in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Lean is about leading, but no one writes about following.

Do we only follow because the leader is just that darn good?

Or can we help leaders by being better followers?

So this month’s Lessons from the Road column is about just that: Sometimes you must follow. Here is an excerpt:

When to follow? Don’t just stop leading, but make conscious choices of when to follow. In wartime or organizational crisis, you need a single decisive leader. But in peacetime, there are many reasons to follow. Someone else may be a subject-matter expert where that expertise is critical. For example, if you are getting government approval for a product, you probably want to follow someone who knows that process inside and out.

I hope you’ll read it. Contact me and share your thoughts. Happy following!


  • Good stuff as always, Jamie

    Dean Bliss May 11, 2016 at 10:07 pm