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Leadership and Follower Responsibility: A Study on Ethical Challenges


A leader cannot be present without a follower. A follower makes a leader, and without the follower, there will be no leaders. Good leadership comes from a person who possesses good quality of understanding, persistence, forgiveness and controls the followers. The study aims to focus on the responsibility of the followers in support of destructive leaders. It further finds out the shared responsibility between the leader and the follower in the context of destructive leaders.

The leader’s light and shadow denote the negative and the positive sides of the character in a leader. The light and shadow are the metaphors that differentiate between moral and immoral leaders. Leaders have the power in their hands to build the lives of their followers. The followers depend upon their leaders, and their nature of work depends upon the conduct of the leader in every way. The leaders cat the light on the followers when they mater the ethical challenges and they highlight darkness upon the followers in case of inconsistency and misconduct in their behaviour (Jhonson, 2014). According to Palmer, the difference between moral and immoral is the same as the contrast between hell and heaven or the light or darkness. A leader must take up his responsibility in order to master the ethical challenges in the workplace. Likewise, the relationship between the leaders and the followers is vice versa. Ethical leaders brighten the lives of the people around them and leaders reflecting a positive attitude brightens up the character in the followers (Stone, 2015). For instance, when a follower in incompetent to establish proper communication with the leader, the leaders too reflect incompetency in their action. Without proper communication, the leader will also be incompetent in order to establish a proper ruling power. Frigid leaders may be competent but they are unable to adopt the new ideas and by the fault of the followers the practice or the conduct of such leader will continue.

Power is the foundation for the influence in the attempts. The followers contribute to bringing such shadow as the followers failed to fulfil their minimal responsibility being unpunctual, not delivering work on time, stealing the supplies, and not working as per the leaders. They can contribute to an unethical climate by taking too many obligations upon them (Krasikova, Green, & LeBreton, 2014). There remains a decree of cynism and dissent due to such negative behaviour. Responsibility is the key to bring out the light in one’s behaviour. So there lies a shared responsibility of both the follower and the leaders in order to bring the light in that situation. The behaviours of both the follower and the leader are interdepended and hence both their behaviour impacts the behaviour of one another.

In conclusion, it is stated that through the conduct of the followers in their job, they support in bringing out the dark side of the shadowed part of the leader. Further, it suggests there exists a shared relationship between the follower and the leader for bringing out the darkness in the situation.

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