To be a leader implies you have followers and even though you may lead others, you probably follow a leader as well. Many who lead live in the middle space between leader and follower. Once you are a leader however, you may not think too much about being a follower. You may be thankful for the person who leads you and supports you in fulfilling your responsibility to lead others. Or you may experience frustration from a non-functional leader who is either not present or exerting so much control you have no freedom to lead. In either case, your experience defines what it means for you to be a follower and a leader.
Leaders need followers. If you look around and no one is following are you really a leader? Before you answer the question you have to know what following looks like. The basic definition of a follower is someone who follows. Following involves an act of the will. It is a choice. You may think you are the boss and I have to follow, but if I have to follow am I really following? I have seen some who have subordinates that are not followers, haven’t you? To be honest, I have been a subordinate and not a follower. I am equally certain that I have had subordinates that have not been followers. Leaders have followers because they understand following.
Consider whether you are following your leader or not. If you are, why are you and if not, why not? This may provide insight into your followers and your leadership.