Protagonists of the contingency theory state that â€œmost relationships between leaders and followers are based on authority and submissionâ€. In this respect, Gardner (1995) stated that there should be â€œa sharp differentiation between the role of leaders and followersâ€ where followers should not be mistaken for subordinates and should be â€œprepared to believe in the authority of leadersâ€. Therefore, the roles of effective followers are defined by their ability to be a resource for a leader, capability of building a relationship on their previous cognitive experience, and â€œprovide the clayâ€ for the transformation.
Furthermore, the leader-follower relationships occur in multiple situations and presuppose that supervisors and subordinates should know how â€œto shift easily from one role to the otherâ€ argued that â€œfollowers should do leadership, rather than followershipâ€, rejecting the fact that insufficient sharpening of the followership skills leads to the suppression of effective followers and creation of conformists.
Â In this respect, effective leaders â€œmust have a capacity of rational problem solvingâ€, in order to address expectations of the different types of followers. In order to transform â€œsheepâ€ or conformist followers, who lack â€œinitiative and sense of responsibilityâ€, an effective leader can share power of decision-making to encourage them to become leaders. In order to achieve organizational success with â€œyes peopleâ€, who have self-confidence but heavily â€œdepend on a leader for inspirationâ€, a leader can use feedback-based communication to motivate them in seeing the opportunity for the development. In order to benefit from â€œcritical and independent thinkingâ€ of â€œalienated followersâ€ or passive followers, a leader can become a role model to reinforce creative and self-leading individuals. In order to accomplish timely-restrained goals with â€œsurvivorsâ€ who follow the style that minimizes risk in the situation-dependent conditions, a leader should create an environment that enables them to contribute their best.
In addition, an effective follower knows how to follow effectively, and, at the same time, exhibits leadership qualities. Additionally, leaders should create a sense of community through effective communicative processes with followers while sufficiently exercising their authority, which enables them to follow and be followed.