January 9, 2017

Follower or Fan?

Follower or Fan?

A friend of mine, the Head Golf Coach for Palm Beach Atlantic University, recently made a comment about followership. He stopped me dead in my tracks. Follower of what?

I said with a smile, A what ship? Is that a word? We joked. He got my attention. So the learning journey continues.

When you Google “followers” what are the top 5 results?

The Millennials and young people can answer this question. I was quickly educated and continued the journey. All 5 are about Instagram Followers.

Top hit — Get Free Instagram Followers – Up to 20,000 at FollowersTeam

Yep, all about social media.

Crazy, didn’t see that coming. Good communication tools, but are you really a follower?

So, I wanted to equip Coach and his team, to think about their involvement at school and the golf team. Are they good followers or really just fans?

What’s the difference?

Follow. The dictionary says, an “act” according to the lead or example of someone; treat as a teacher or guide.

Fan. A basic definition, a person who has a “strong interest” or “enthusiastic admiration” for a particular person or thing.

OK, I follow the Denver Broncos… or wait am I a fan?

Let’s see. I’ve toured Mile High Stadium, had game seats, been to a Super Bowl parade, own a couple hats, and watch as many games as possible. I feel good when they win and disappointed when they lose. Fan or Follower?

Yet… I’ve never played in a game, never ridden in a Super Bowl parade. I can tell you most of the starting roster. I don’t have an official uniform. I’ve never broken a sweat at training camp. Never met the coach or followed his lead and actions. Fan or a Follower?

Thus, there’s nothing required of me. I’ve made no sacrifice or commitment. I don’t have a relationship. Ok… I’m an enthusiastic admirer. A huge fan!

So how do you determine if you’re a follower or a fan?


I’ll guess the millennials will know the meaning of this.

Define The Relationship (DTR)

This is the usual talk that takes place during a romantic relationship, at some point, to determine the level of “commitment”. You want to see where things stand and find out if what you have is real.

This question usually will come up. Where do you see this relationship going?

But eventually every healthy relationship reaches a point when the D.T.R. talk is needed. Is it casual or is it committed? Have things moved past infatuation or “enthusiastic admiration” and towards deeper devotion, dedication, and commitment?

Hence, you need to intentionally evaluate the state of the relationship and your level of commitment to the person.

Before I make things more awkward, it’s time to define the relationship you have with the team.

What exactly is your level of commitment?

So players… are you excited to say you’re on the team, wear the uniform, be recognized on campus, and casually involved in the team journey?

Or… are you devoted, dedicated, committed in making a sacrifice, and having a relationship with your teammates and coaches.

What is your relationship with your team?

Are you making a 100% commitment to being a great follower?

Are You A Fan or a Follower?

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