In the few past years, various leadership styles and philosophies have become popular because they can assist leaders in achieving their goals, motivating employees, and fulfilling team tasks. Servant leadership has emerged as a distinctive leadership style with a unique relationship between a leader and his followers. This essay will seek to compare and contrast servant leadership and followership.
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First of all, it is essential to note that both concepts refer to specific behaviors of members of a group of people. More specifically, the notions of servant leadership and followership originate from the armed forces. Consequently, both roles entail qualities such as trust, respect, recognition, and the desire to perform one’s duties in a way that benefits the group (Davis, 2017). These similarities are significant in the organizational context as they promote teamwork and collaboration.
Secondly, the differences between the two concepts should also be recognized. A servant leader, despite their willingness to serve the team, still occupies a principal position within the group (Reed, 2015). Followership behaviors, in turn, can be expressed by the rest of the team. Hence, followership and servant leadership depend on each other but refer to different team roles, and these roles cannot be taken by the same person.
On the whole, servant leadership is an important idea that seeks to apply the principles of service in various team contexts. Servant leaders respect and trust their followers, which makes the bond between them particularly strong. Although the two notions stem from the armed forces and are associated with similar values, they imply different roles within the group. Hence, followership and servant leadership should not be confused in theory or practice.
Davis, C. J. (Ed.) (2017). Servant leadership and followership: Examining the impact on workplace behavior. Palgrave Macmillan.
Reed, L. (2015). Servant leadership, followership, and organizational citizenship behaviors in 9-1-1 emergency communications centers: Implications of a national study. Servant Leadership: Theory & Practice, 2(1), 71-94.