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The Courageous Follower

Standing Up to and for Our Leaders

Ira Chaleff


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Many significant failures—from FEMA’s response to Hurricane Katrina to the recent economic collapse—could have been prevented or mitigated if those lower in the hierarchy were successful at communicating to leaders the risks they saw in the system. Ira Chaleff’s Courageous Follower model has facilitated healthy upward information flow in organizations for over 15 years. The Harvard Business Review called Chaleff a pioneer in the emerging field of followership—this new edition shares his latest thinking on an increasingly vital topic.
The updated third edition includes a new chapter, “The Courage to Speak to the Hierarchy.” Much of Chaleff’s model is based on followers having access to the leader. But today, followers can be handed questionable policies and orders that come from many levels above them—even from the other side of the world. Chaleff explores how they can respond effectively, particularly using the power now available through advances in communications technology.
Everyone is a follower at least some of the time. Chaleff strips away the passive connotations of that role and provides tools to help followers effectively partner with leaders. He provides rich guidance to leaders and boards on fostering a climate that encourages courageous followership. The results include increased support for leaders, reduced cynicism and organizations saved from serious missteps.

Praise For The Courageous Follower: Standing Up to and for Our Leaders

“Paying more attention to the follower end of the equation is long overdue.”
—Vice President Al Gore

“Contains remarkable insight and practical advice that will be of enormous benefit to followers, and maybe even more benefit to leaders.”
—General Walter Ulmer, Jr., former CEO, Center for Creative Leadership

The Courageous Follower is a godsend. Chaleff tackles business transformation with grace, and offers real‑life solutions for even the most sticky situations.”
Independent Bookselling Today

“Highly recommended.”
—Library Journal

Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 9781605092737, 288pp.

Publication Date: November 2, 2009

About the Author

Ira Chaleff is the founder and president of Executive Coaching & Consulting Associates. He was recently named one of the top100 thinkers on leadership by Leadership Excellence magazine.