Ronald Riggio showed how followership fits into the leadership equation.
Ask any young person, or any employee, “would you rather be a leader or a follower?” Odds are that very few if any would pick follower over leader. Yet, as a leadership scholar, I am going to argue that following is critically important, and, it is even more important than leadership.
Without Followers There is No Leadership. Contrary to what people think, leaders don’t do leadership. Leadership is created by leaders and followers working together for a common goal (as the old saying goes, “leaders should look around now and then to make sure that they are still being followed”).
Followers Do Most of the Heavy Lifting. Think of the outcomes we measure in teams and organizations: Performance/productivity, it’s the collective effort of the team members/followers. High-performing teams tend to achieve goals whether or not the leader is present. Quality of performance means the team members are paying close attention to what they are doing. Absenteeism/turnover? That’s up to the followers when it’s voluntary. (And, as they say, most people quit their leaders not their jobs).
Leaders Have to Be Good Followers. Research has shown that the best leaders are also good at following. That makes sense. Few people start out as leaders. They first learn about leadership through following someone else. Perhaps more important, leaders, regardless of the level of their positions, are always following – following the mission/purpose/goals, following their superior, and, in the case of CEOs, following the board or trusted advisors.
Followers Have Unlimited Potential. This is particularly true in tech industries where followers have much more collective knowledge than do leaders. Regardless of industry, however, any follower could come up with a critical innovation or valuable idea that can lead to fantastic results. Followers can also play a critical role as the “conscience” of the organization. As my friend and colleague, Ira Chaleff, states in the subtitle of his outstanding book, The Courageous Follower, followers have a duty to “Stand Up To and For Our Leaders.” This means, following when the leader is headed down the right path, but having the courage to stand up to the leader when things are potentially amiss.
Followers Are the Next Generation of Leaders. As stated above, nobody begins as a leader. They learn about leadership through following. Moreover, the very best leaders are good at developing their followers – empowering them with responsibility judiciously in order to develop their leadership potential. The theory of Transformational Leadership points this out. These exceptional leaders help stimulate two types of transformation: achieving goals and performance that is beyond normal expectations, and transforming followers into budding leaders through delegation, mentoring, and coaching. As a great and transformational leader once told me, “the people who will succeed me are far better prepared for leadership than I was, because I made a point to ensure that that happened.”
References: (1) Chaleff, I. (2009). The Courageous Follower: Standing Up to and For Our Leaders (3rd. ed.), San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler (2) Riggio, R.E., Chaleff, I., & Lipman-Blumen, J.(Eds.). (2008). The Art of Followership: How Great Followers Create Great Leaders and Organizations. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. (3) Uhl-Bien, M., Riggio, R.E., Lowe, K.B., & Carsten, M. (2014). Followership theory: A review and research agenda. The Leadership Quarterly, 25(1), 83-104.
This article is originally written by Ronald E. Riggio, who, is the Professor of Leadership and Organizational Psychology at Claremont McKenna College. This article is republished here from psychology today under common creative licenses.
Riggins and colleagues studied the ignition of supernovae by the formation and self-gravitational collapse of a dark matter (DM) core containing many DM particles. For non-annihilating DM, such a core collapse may lead to a mini black hole that can ignite supernova (SN) through the emission of Hawking radiation, or possibly as a by-product of accretion. For annihilating DM, core collapse leads to an increasing annihilation rate and can ignite SN through a large number of rapid annihilations. These processes extend the previously derived constraints on DM to masses as low as 10^5 GeV.
Dark matter (DM) accounts for over 80% of the matter density of the Universe, but its identity remains unknown. While direct detection is a promising approach to identifying the nature of DM, searches for indirect signatures of DM interactions in astrophysical systems is also fruitful, particularly if the unknown DM mass happens to be large.
Graham and colleagues recently suggested that white dwarfs (WD) act as astrophysical DM detectors: DM may heat a local region of a WD and trigger thermonuclear runaway fusion, resulting in a type Ia supernova (SN). DM ignition of sub-Chandrasekhar WDs was further studied in a companion paper, where Riggins, Graham along with their colleagues showed that generic classes of DM capable of producing high-energy standard model (SM) particles in the star can be constrained, e.g., by DM annihilations or decay to SM products. As an illustrative example, Graham’s paper placed new constraints on ultra-heavy DM with masses greater than 10^16 GeV for which a single annihilation or decay is sufficient to ignite a SN.
Now in this paper, Riggins and colleagues examined the possibility of igniting SN by the formation and self-gravitational collapse of a DM core. They studied two novel processes by which a collapsing DM core in a WD can ignite a SN. If the DM has negligible annihilation cross section, so-called asymmetric DM, collapse may result in a mini black hole (BH) that can ignite a SN via the emission of energetic Hawking radiation or possibly as it accretes. If the DM has a small but non-zero annihilation cross section, collapse can dramatically increase the number density of the DM core, resulting in SN ignition via a large number of rapid annihilations. Both of these processes extend the previously derived constraints on DM in Graham’s paper, notably to masses as low as 10^5 GeV.
“We have studied the possibility of DM core collapse triggering type Ia SN in sub-Chandrasekhar WDs, following up on previous work. Collapse of asymmetric DM can lead to the formation of a mini BH which ignites a SN by the emission of Hawking radiation, and collapse of annihilating DM can lead to large number of rapid annihilations which also ignite a SN. Such processes allow us to place novel constraints on DM parameters (as shown in Fig. 1, Fig. 2, Fig. 3, and Fig. 4). These constraints improve on the limits set by terrestrial experiments, & they are complementary to previous considerations of DM capture in compact objects.”, said Ryan Janish.
A number of potential observables of DM cores in compact objects have been considered in the literature. These include: (1) gravitational effects of DM cores on the structure of low-mass stars, white dwarfs (WDs), and neutron stars (NS), (2) BH formation & subsequent destruction of host NSs, and (3) anomalous heating from DM annihilations or scatters in white dwarfs (WDs) and (NSs). Riggins and colleagues emphasized that the signature of a DM core igniting a type Ia SN is distinct from these, and thus the constraints derived by them are complementary. For instance, while it has been known that DM cores which form evaporating mini BHs are practically unobservable in a NS, this is decidedly not the case in a WD where such BHs typically ignite a SN.
“It is interesting to contemplate that the ignition of type Ia SN through the evaporation of mini black holes represents a potential observable signature of Hawking radiation. Further, it also interesting that the extremely tiny annihilation cross sections constrained in this work, which to our knowledge have no other observable consequences, can nonetheless be capable of igniting a SN.”, said Riggins.
They claimed that DM which can cool via emission of dark radiation will be more susceptible to collapse, and is likely to be more strongly constrained than models possessing only elastic cooling. Another particularly interesting case they described is electrically charged particles or magnetic monopoles. Ultra-heavy monopoles & anti-monopoles could be captured in a white dwarf (WD) and subsequently annihilate, igniting SN—they estimated that such a process can be used to place constraints on the flux of galactic monopoles exceeding current limits.
“We emphasize that the heat deposited in the stellar matter during a DM collapse would be drastically affected by the presence of an additional cooling mechanism which drives the collapse, e.g., emitting dark radiation. In particular, if such a cooling mechanism is present and efficient in a collapsing core, ignition due to heating by nuclear scatters might not occur.”, said Riggins.
“…there are many puzzles in our understanding of the origin of type Ia SN and other WD events, such as Ca-rich transients. It is plausible that DM is responsible for a fraction of these events. To this end, it is important to identify the distinguishing features of SN that would originate from DM core collapse (e.g. the lack of a stellar companion) in order to observationally test such tantalizing possibilities.”, concluded authors of the study.
Eagleman and colleagues hypothesized that the circuitry underlying dreaming serves to amplify the visual system’s activity periodically throughout the night, allowing it to defend its territory against takeover from other senses.
One of neuroscience’s unsolved mysteries is why brains dream. Do our bizarre nighttime hallucinations carry meaning, or are they simply random neural activity in search of a coherent narrative? And why are dreams so richly visual, activating the occipital cortex so strongly? Eagleman and colleagues in their recent paper, leverage recent findings on neural plasticity to propose a novel hypothesis.
Just as sharp teeth and fast legs are useful for survival, so is neural plasticity: the brain’s ability to adjust its parameters (e.g., the strength of synaptic connections) enables learning, memory, and behavioral flexibility.
On the scale of brain regions, neuroplasticity allows areas associated with different sensory modalities to gain or lose neural territory when inputs slow, stop, or shift. For example, in the congenitally blind, the occipital cortex is taken over by other senses such as audition and somatosensation. Similarly, when human adults who recently lost their sight listen to sounds while undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), the auditory stimulation causes activity not only in the auditory cortex, but also in the occipital cortex. Such findings illustrate that the brain undergoes changes rapidly when visual input stops.
Rapid neural reorganization happens not only in the newly blind, but also among sighted participants with temporary blindness. In one study, sighted participants were blindfolded for five days and put through an intensive Braille-training paradigm. At the end of five days, the participants could distinguish subtle differences between Braille characters much better than a control group of sighted participants who received the same training without a blindfold. The difference in neural activity was especially striking: in response to touch and sound, blindfolded participants showed activation in the occipital cortex as well as in the somatosensory cortex and auditory cortex, respectively. When the new occipital lobe activity was intentionally disrupted by magnetic pulses, the Braille-reading advantage of the blindfolded subjects went away. This finding indicates that the recruitment of this brain area was not an accidental side effect—it was critical for the improved performance. After the blindfold was removed, the response of the occipital cortex to touch and sound disappeared within a day.
Of particular interest here is the unprecedented speed of the changes. When sighted participants were asked to perform a touching task that required fine discrimination, investigators detected touch-related activity emerging in the primary visual cortex after only 40 to 60 minutes of blindfolding. The rapidity of the change may be explained not by the growth of new axons, but by the unmasking of pre-existing non-visual connections in the occipital cortex.
It is advantageous to redistribute neural territory when a sense is permanently lost, but the rapid conquest of territory may be disadvantageous when input to a sense is diminished only temporarily, as in the blindfold experiment. This consideration leads Eagleman and colleagues to propose a new hypothesis for the brain’s activity at night. In the ceaseless competition for brain territory, the visual system in particular has a unique problem: due to the planet’s rotation, we are cast into darkness for an average of 12 hours every cycle. (This of course refers to the vast majority of evolutionary time, not to our present electrified world). Given that sensory deprivation triggers takeover by neighboring territories, how does the visual system compensate for its cyclical loss of input?
Eagleman and colleagues suggested that the brain combats neuroplastic incursions into the visual system by keeping the occipital cortex active at night. They term this the Defensive Activation theory. In this view, dream sleep exists to keep the visual cortex from being taken over by neighboring cortical areas. After all, the rotation of the planet does not diminish touch, hearing, taste, or smell. Only visual input is occluded by darkness.
“We suggest that the brain preserves the territory of the visual cortex by keeping it active at night. In our “defensive activation theory,” dream sleep exists to keep neurons in the visual cortex active, thereby combating a takeover by the neighboring senses. In this view, dreams are primarily visual precisely because this is the only sense that is disadvantaged by darkness. Thus, only the visual cortex is vulnerable in a way that warrants internally-generated activity to preserve its territory.”, said Eagleman.
In humans, sleep is punctuated by REM (rapid eye movement) sleep about every 90 minutes. This is when most dreaming occurs. Although some forms of dreaming can occur during non-REM sleep, such dreams are quite different from REM dreams; non-REM dreams usually are related to plans or thoughts, and they lack the visual vividness and hallucinatory and delusory components of REM dreams.
REM sleep is triggered by a specialized set of neurons in the pons, Increased activity in this neuronal population has two consequences. First, elaborate neural circuitry keeps the body immobile during REM sleep by paralyzing major muscle groups. The muscle shut-down allows the brain to simulate a visual experience without moving the body at the same time. Second, they experience vision when waves of activity travel from the pons to the lateral geniculate nucleus and then to the occipital cortex (these are known as ponto-geniculo-occipital waves or PGO waves). When the spikes of activity arrive at the occipital pole, they felt as though they were seeing even though our eyes are closed. They found that the visual cortical activity is presumably why dreams are pictorial and filmic instead of conceptual or abstract.
These nighttime volleys of activity are anatomically precise. The pontine circuitry connects specifically to the lateral geniculate nucleus, which passes the activity on to the occipital cortex, only. The high specificity of this circuitry supports the biological importance of dream sleep: putatively, this circuitry would be unlikely to evolve without an important function behind it.
“As predicted, we found that species with more flexible brains spend more time in REM sleep each night. Although these two measures—brain flexibility and REM sleep—would seem at first to be unrelated, they are in fact linked.”, said Eagleman.
Their Defensive Activation theory makes a strong prediction: the higher an organism’s neural plasticity, the higher its ratio of REM to non-REM sleep. This relationship should be observable across species as well as within a given species across the lifespan. They thus set out to test their hypothesis by comparing 25 species of primates on behavioral measures of plasticity and the fraction of sleep time they spend in REM and found that measures of plasticity across 25 species of primates correlate positively with the proportion of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.
They further found that plasticity and REM sleep increase in lockstep with evolutionary recency to humans. Finally, they concluded that their hypothesis is consistent with the decrease in REM sleep and parallel decrease in neuroplasticity with aging.
Recent years have seen major discoveries of mammoths, woolly rhinos, Ice Age foal, and cave lion cubs as the permafrost increasingly melts across vast areas of Siberia because of global warming.
A well-preserved Ice Age woolly rhino with many of its internal organs still intact has been recovered from permafrost in Russia’s extreme north.
Russian media reported Wednesday that the carcass was revealed by melting permafrost in Yakutia in August. Scientists are waiting for ice roads in the Arctic region to become passable to deliver it to a lab for studies next month.
It’s among the best-preserved specimens of the Ice Age animal found to date. The carcass has most of its soft tissues still intact, including part of the intestines, thick hair and a lump of fat. Its horn was found next to it.
Recent years have seen major discoveries of mammoths, woolly rhinos, Ice Age foal, and cave lion cubs as the permafrost increasingly melts across vast areas of Siberia because of global warming.
Yakutia 24 TV quoted Valery Plotnikov, a paleontologist with the regional branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, as saying the woolly rhino was likely 3- or 4-years-old when it died. Plotnikov said the young rhino likely drowned.
Scientists dated the carcass as anywhere from 20,000- to 50,000-years-old. More precise dating will be possible once it is delivered to a lab for radiocarbon studies.
The carcass was found on the bank of the Tirekhtyakh river in the Abyisk district, close to the area where another young woolly rhino was recovered in 2014. Researchers dated that specimen, which they called Sasha, at 34,000 years old.
Three-dimensional (3D) printing techniques have the ability to fabricate wearable sensors with customized and complex designs compared with conventional processes. The vat photopolymerization 3D printing technique exhibits better printing resolution, faster printing speed, and is capable of fabricating a refined structure. Due to the lack of highly conductive photocurable resins, it is difficult to prepare sensors through vat photopolymerization 3D printing technique.
In a study published in Adv. Funct. Mater., the research group led by Prof. WU Lixin from Fujian Institute of Research on the Structure of Matter (FJIRSM) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences developed porous flexible strain sensors (PFSS) with high stretchability and an excellent recoverability.
The researchers first synthesized a bifunctional monomer hydrolyzably hindered urea acrylate to create a crosslinked polymer network, preventing the dissolution of printed parts in the uncured resin. 3D printed scaffolds can be hydrolyzed in hot water, which provides an attractive option for sacrificial molds.
They then cast polyurethane/carbon nanotubes composites in molds to prepare flexible sensors as the PFSS. This PFSS exhibited a good pressure sensitivity (0.111 kPa-1) at the low compressive strain.
The resistance response signals were stable after 100 cycles of 60% mechanical loads with high cycle repeatability and stability.
Besides, the researchers demonstrated the practical applications of PFSS for in situ human motion detection including gait analysis and finger motion, proving it a promising material for smart wearable device preparation.
This study showed that the sacrificial molding process has great potential for user-specific stretchable wearable devices.
As important components of the nuclear fusion device, divertors – designed to handle power exhaust – is one of the key issues for next step fusion reactors.
The team developed a kind of flat-type high heat load tungsten mock-up. It consisted of 2mm thickness pure tungsten bonded to pure copper and brazed to CuCrZr heat sink, with 1mm oxygen-free copper as interlayer.
Besides, special thermal transfer structure was designed in the heat sink, which significantly improved the heat transfer efficiency. The heat removal capacity of the mock-up was upgraded from the initial 5MW-2 in 2017 to 15MW m-2 in 2018, and then reached 20MW m-2 currently.
The mock-up withstood successfully 1,000 cycles of high heat flux (HHF) test of 20MW m-2 (15 seconds on and 15 seconds off) on the electron beam facility. The tungsten surface temperature was maintained within 930°C less than the recrystallization temperature of pure tungsten (1200°C).
After 1,000 cycles of HHF tests, there was no obvious degradation of the heat transfer performance and damage of the mock-up.
The next step is to apply the technology to the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) tungsten divertor to demonstrate its reliability and suitability for high-performance long-pulse plasma.