Followership and Servant Leadership
Leadership is a vital part of a functioning community, yet the choice of a leadership strategy typically hinges on the specific characteristics and unique needs of community members. For this reason, servant leadership is typically represented as the quintessence of leading a community, with the person at the helm representing the interests of the target population (Reed 5). In the context of the servant leadership style, the notion of followership is also brought up quite frequently as an essential constitute of the subject matter (Reed 5). While followership suggests rigid compliance with the established standards of ethics and behavior, servant leadership suggests that a leader’s decisions should adders specifically the needs of people that the leader in question serves, which means that servant leadership is more altruistic and, ultimately, more attentive to the needs of vulnerable groups than followership.
Servant leadership and followership might seem as somewhat close to each other regarding their focus on meeting the required criteria. Indeed, similarly to the followership construct, the one of servant leadership implies aligning the leader’s actions with the existing regulations (Reed 5). However, while also being an important aspect of it, rigid compliance with rules is not the core focus on servant leadership, which makes it much more suitable for decision-making than followership.
Since servant leadership implies catering specifically to the needs of a particular group of people whom a servant leader represents, it should be chosen over the notion of followership, which boils down to complying with preset standards yet does not suggest meeting the needs of specific audiences. Therefore, servant leadership. Which is more altruistic in its nature, appears to be evidently more effective in managing the needs of disadvantaged groups and supporting those in need. For this reason, servant leadership should be prioritized over followership, even though each of the two has a unique place in managing issues pertaining to leadership.
In turn, the concept of followership might seem as close to that one of leadership, particularly, due to its close adherence to the established regulations. Indeed, in its essence, followership is the capability of meeting certain standards and requirements (Reed 5). The described skill is particularly important when managing a specific process or implementing a preset range of actions for a specific plan (Reed 5). However, to lead a team of people and ensure that the acquire crucial skills and experience in the process, as well as ensuring that their needs are fully met, followership is not enough. Namely, the concept in question dos no provide the instruments that allow reaching the outlined goal, as opposed to servant leadership.
Since the servant leadership approach allows focusing specifically on the needs of a particular demographic and introduce measures that lead to the improvement in the quality of their lives, it should be considered as a superior form of leadership compared to the followership approach. Despite followership providing a more direct and effective way of complying with preset standards, which may be useful when addressing certain ethical dilemmas, it ultimately does not imply that a leader should strive to improve the lives of those whose interests he or she represents. In turn, the servant leadership approach provides exactly the opportunity to focus on managing the needs of a certain group, therefore, becoming the main tool in ensuring that population-specific concerns are addressed. Therefore, the servant leadership approach is the superior method if managing people’s needs.
Reed, Lora. “Servant Leadership, Followership, and Organizational Citizenship Behaviors in 9-1-1 Emergency Communications Centers: Implications of a National Study.” Servant Leadership: Theory & Practice, vol. 2, no. 1, 2016, p. 5.