Servant leadership entails acts of being accountable and aggressively contributing to the well-being of the populaces. Furthermore, a servant leader carefully examines the needs of the people as well as purposes solutions to the problems facing people, hence, promoting personal development (Van Dierendonck & Patterson, 2018). Nonetheless, a servant leader's primary focus is on the people. On the other hand, followership leadership is a role an individual plays in order to support another person who is a leader. Equally, followership leadership involves readiness and capacity to follow a leader. Servant leadership is a term that was first coined by Robert K. Greenleaf in 1970 (Greenleaf, 2002). According to Greenleaf (2002), servant leadership is a conjectural agenda that principally endorses principal incentive of leaders as well as service to others. Nonetheless, servant leadership is a very predominant model of leadership. The essential characteristics of servant leadership include conceptualization, awareness, persuasion, commitment to the growth of people, empathy, and stewardship. On the other hand, according to Robert E. Kelley (2016), followership is role played in support of a leader. Correspondingly, the primary characters of followers include credible, honest, courageous, competence, commitment, and loyalty. Therefore, this essay will compare and contrast servant leadership and follower leadership.
Comparison of Servant Leadership and Follower Leadership
Firstly, both servant leaders and followers need each other for existence. Nevertheless, a follower is an individual who is influenced and enthused by a servant leader. Consequently, without followers, servant leaders will never exist for the reason that it is the followers who make the leader believe that he is doing the right thing as well as doing well to other people. Moreover, a follower follows the footsteps of a servant leader by encouraging and supporting him for doing better. In both servant leadership and follower leadership, understanding and mutual trust are given priority so that a mission can succeed. It is apparent that since ancient times, both followers and servant leaders existed. In modern society, followers and servant leaders still exist since there are leaders and followers more, especially in the ranks of the military and other positions (Van Dierendonck & Patterson, 2018). In addition, both followers and servant leaders need to have qualities such as patience and selflessness, as well as being aware of those around them.
Moreover, both follower leadership and servant leadership, leadership, is explicitly demonstrated by developing and also empowering the people by expressing stewardship, authenticity, humility, honesty, providing direction, and interpersonal acceptance. Additionally, a dyadic as well as high-quality association, fairness and trust are anticipated to be the most significant arbitrating process to embolden stronger focus, positive job attitudes, and self-actualization. Both servant leaders and followers have excellent listening skills and work in partnership. Ordinarily, they must also have communication skills. A servant leader supports and listens to followers before making any crucial decision; thus, a servant leader attempts to empathize and understand followers because they deserve indebtedness and respect at all times (Greenleaf, 2002). On the other hand, followers are expected to be obedient and accept to be given direction.
The Contrast between Servant Leadership and Follower Leadership
Firstly, unlike servant leadership, follower leadership entails learning and gaining skills. Moreover, the skills learned are applicable once you become a leader. Similarly, it is correct to state that all leaders are followers, but then again, not all followers are leaders. Therefore, the foremost difference between follower leadership and servant leadership is the process of gaining as well as learning skills that are essential to lead others. As its name suggests, follower leadership is learning to be a leader hence, followership is considered to be a fundamental principle in leadership. Secondly, servant leaders are already leaders who guide followers. On the other hand, follower leadership entails training aimed at molding knowledge and an individual's ability to become a leader (Kelley, 2016). Branding an individual as a follower, then their main objective is to study and develop themselves. Correspondingly, after becoming a leader, they will have learned the necessary skills to be able to lead other people successfully. Unlike servant leadership, under follower leadership, followers are supposed to learn mistakes committed by leaders so that when they are in a position of leadership, such mistakes can be avoided in the future. Thirdly, another contrast between servant leadership and follower leadership is that followers will continuously observe guidance from their leaders by specifically learning lessons of leadership from servant leaders (Kelley, 2016). As a consequence, they will have prior knowledge of what it entails to be a leader; hence, they will be good leaders. In order to be a good leader, a servant leader must have essential motivation experience and skill to bear accountabilities that a follower does not have.
In conclusion, follower leadership encompasses the learning of essential traits that are mandatory to be a good leader. The relationship between servant leadership and follower leadership is evident since a servant leader normally leads while a follower keeps an eye on guidelines. Therefore, both servant leadership and follower leadership are complementary to each other. However, a servant leader cannot be able to lead in the absence of followers. On the other hand, servant leadership predominantly focuses on leading others by precisely guiding and teaching followers. In addition, both the servant leaders and followers usually collaborate to accomplish their mission. Therefore, when individuals transition from being followers to leadership positions, they still have to exercise good followership.
Greenleaf, R. K. (2002). Servant leadership: A journey into the nature of legitimate power and greatness. Paulist Press.
Kelley, R. (2016). Followership in Action. Retrieved from https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/978-1-78560-948-020161037/full/html
Van Dierendonck, D., & Patterson, K. (2018). Practicing Servant Leadership. Springer. Retrieved from https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/978-3-319-75644-8.pdf
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