- Isolates are completely unengaged. They don’t know or care who’s in charge or what happens. By default, their alienation will reinforce the status quo.
- Bystanders watch but don’t act. They deliberately choose to stand to the side. Like the inaction of isolates, their neutrality tacitly supports the status quo.
- Participants engage in some way. They choose to make a particular, small contribution, maybe as a first step. They care enough to act.
- Activists feel strongly about their mission or their leaders and plunge in to help the cause. Whether they’re for or against the status quo, they work hard.
- Diehards literally are ready to die for an idea or a leader. They identify completely with the mission and are ready to take large risks for it. The mission drives who they are and what they do.
—Adapted from Followership, Barbara Kellerman, Harvard Business School Press.
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