It is important to note the fact that leadership plays a major role in society. The main reason is that it is a core element of any organization, including private, public, for-profit, or non-profit. However, a leader can utilize a different range of approaches in order to lead his or her followers. In the given assessment, the analysis will focus on key similarities and differences between followership leadership and servant leadership. The main difference is that followership leadership focuses on followers and servant leadership focuses on leaders, but they are similar since the core element is service, empathy, and proactiveness.
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One should be aware that both followership leadership and servant leadership are only a few examples of a wide range of leadership styles. In the case of the former, followership leadership emphasizes the importance of a follower. Followers can fall into five major categories, which are determined by their proactiveness, independence, and critical thinking (“B112 Followership and Servant Leadership Fundamentals,” n.d.). In the case of servant leadership, it emphasizes the importance of a leader. Under this leadership style, a leader needs to put his or her followers first by serving them (Eva et al., 2018). Such a person needs to be empathetic, persuasive, committed to the growth of his or her people, and present (“B112 Followership and Servant Leadership Fundamentals,” n.d.). Therefore, the given leadership styles have distinct definitions and focus.
The main similarity between servant leadership and followership leadership is in the fact that leaders and followers are interconnected. In other words, a leader cannot effectively lead without helping his or her followers, and the latter cannot effectively follow without helping the former. The most desirable followers under the followership leadership express similar traits as servant leaders under the servant leadership. For example, both of them need to be proactive and independent in either assisting a leader or followers. Both models encourage a more empathetic service to the other part.
The primary difference between servant leadership and followership leadership style is in the fact that the former focuses on leader attributes and the latter focuses on a follower attributes. Therefore, these frameworks approach the idea of leadership from different perspectives. In servant leadership, a leader plays a central role in ensuring the well-being and success of his or her followers. However, in followership leadership, effective followers determine whether or not a leader will be successful. Thus, the power for decision-making lies either in the hands of a leader or follower. The most undesirable followers are the ones, who are dependent, passive, and lack critical thinking. They fall into a group called “sheep,” who mindlessly follow a leader. The “yes people” group are active but lack critical thinking and independence, which is why they actively agree with a leader. A follower can also be independent and critical but be passive, which creates the group of “alienated followers” (“B112 Followership and Servant Leadership Fundamentals,” n.d.). The most desirable followers are the ones who are active, independent, and can think critically. These types of followers are called “effective followers” because they improve a leader. The majority of people fall into the fifth category of followers, who represent the “survivors” group, and they demonstrate the traits of all other four groups.
In conclusion, it is important to point out that both servant leadership and followership leadership focus on service to the other party through proactiveness and empathy. They approach their goals through different perspectives, where the former focuses on a leader and the latter focuses on followers.
B112 Followership and Servant Leadership Fundamentals [PDF document]. (n.d.).
Eva, N., Robin, M., Sendjaya, S., van Dierendonck, D., & Liden, R. C. (2018). Servant leadership: A systematic review and call for future research. The Leadership Quarterly, 30(1), 111-132. Web.
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