I agree that there is a difference. I hope this discussion didn’t leave you with the impression that being a good follower is synonymous with being timid. In fact, I would argue the contrary.
I come from a military background. In the service, we all learn to follow orders – even if sometimes following an order leads to great personal sacrifice. Ever try calling a Marine timid? lol 😉
Beyond the somewhat obvious military example, I would suggest that it often takes great personal strength to follow well – even when we’re leading. Recognizing that there are many ways to skin the same cat and giving someone else my full support to carry out a task when it’s being done differently than the way I would do it – comes with the territory of delegation. When we delegate as leaders, we often have to follow the lead of the ones we put in charge of an area of responsibility.
Following never goes away no matter how far up the ladder we climb. Even the President of the United States follows… Following well makes us better leaders.