Leader, Damaging Your Relationship With Followers

“… ‘Love others as much as you love yourself.’”
Matthew 22:39

Have you ever wondered if your organization could improve if you just along with your staff? It can, Leader! The leader-follower connection has a direct impact on the mentoring/discipling process. Let’s analyze a volatile situation. You are doing “good leadership” stuff around your office. Two employees desire your mentoring. Ophelia has a wonderful attitude but lacks charisma. Katrina is an all-around person with a trashy attitude. You can only pick one. You select Ophelia due to her great attitude. Katrina explodes like a category 5 hurricane. You’ve created an enemy. Hackman and Johnson, leadership gurus, call this person an “Alienated follower,” a highly independent thinker who puts her energies in fighting rather than serving. Alienated followers can become disillusioned with their leaders.

Let’s explore a biblical principle to support this position. The New Testaments gives us the proper perspective in handling mentoring/discipling issues. For example, the Rich Young Ruler approaches Jesus with the desire of discipleship (Matthew 19:16-30). He feels he meets the disciple qualifications (obeyed all requirements). Jesus leaves him with one last request. The young man leaves in despair. You can consider him an “alienated follower.” Jesus didn’t sugar coat his requirements but provided them in love. Richards & Hoeldtke, leadership experts, explain that a servant-leader love peoples and helps them toward spiritual maturity. Love is, therefore, a critical component in any mentoring/discipling relationship. Are you ready to build that relationship with your employees…if only for your organization performance? You can, Leader! Start today!


Johnson, C. & Hackman, M. (2000). Leadership: A Communication Perspective. Waveland Press.

Richards, L. & Hoeldtke, C. (1991). Church Leadership. Grand Rapids, MI: Zonderman Corporation.