Torch, Fall 1988

An interview with Dr. Eugene Apple who served in middle and top management with General Electric Company for 33 years prior to his retirement earlier this year. He is also a member of the Cedarville College Board of Trustees. Q • What are the responsibilities of leaders to followers? A. 1. In providing leadership, leaders need to: Provide objectives, goals, programs, and responsibilities. The goals must be achievable or the result is demoraliz- Q • What are the responsibilities of followers to leaders? A. Followers must recognize that leaders are different from them in style, abilities, and priorities. However, all followers owe it to their leaders to: I. Listen. They must understand what is required of each job, when it must be completed, and to what standard of performance. 2. Offer objective input to the leader regarding the degree of difficulty involved in each task. ing to followers. 3. Support one leader. Do not undermine him or her by using another authority, which leaders view as disloyalty. 2. 3. 4. 5. Make certain communications are understandable. Be clear about expectations. 4 . Tell it like it is, respectfully. Give the leader both the good and bad news. And when you don't know some– thing, say so. Don't tell the leader merely what he wants to hear. Listen to followers. Accept the bad news with the good news. Many people hate to hear bad news, and if there is a reaction called "shooting the messenger," the leader has not really exercised his responsibility. 5. Above all, pray for the leader. Be flexible rather than dogmatic about the way the job is going to get done. Expect and give latitude in the approach of the people working on the project. Sense that they have their own skills and method of getting the job accomplished. Recognize the difference between leaders and managers. The leader provides direction and motivation to the entire organization, whereas managers are in charge of implementation. Of course, managers provide leadership within their realm of responsibility. Q • What happens when a leader mishandles his responsibilities? A. He will suffer loss of respect. Followers will reorganize to get the job done without him. Then, this leader may react by regressing to a management mode and perhaps become dictato– rial. Ultimately, the result will be failure of leadership. 6. Pray for workers - specifically, by name if possible. This will require a leader's attention to worker's needs and attitudes. "...whosoever will be great among you., let him be your minister; and whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: even as the Son of Man came not to be minis– tered unto, but to minister... " Matthew 20:26-28 7