brand-as-business bit: In Deadlines and Disruption, the memoir by Stephen B. Shepard, editor-in-chief of Businessweek from 1984 to 2005, Shepard writes about a conversation with Oz Elliott, former editor of Newsweek:
He thought that institutions—whether magazines or companies—sometimes fail because of weak leadership. There is no vision or strategy. But sometimes, he said, even strong leaders with good ideas fail because they are unable to get their message to the troops in an effective way. Oz called this a “crisis of followership.” [emphasis mine]
The concept of “followership” is something I’ve seen many companies struggle with. While it’s critical that a leader have clarity of purpose and vision, she must also have the ability to align, inspire, and engage her employees and other stakeholders.