Leadership plays a crucial role in the growth and development of any organization. As an essential function of management, leadership helps a company maximize efficiency in achieving set goals. Different people have varying leadership styles based on their characteristics and the leadership philosophy that inform their school of thought. Two main leadership approaches include authentic and servant leadership style. The current paper seeks to compare the two approaches and identify the one that closely aligns with my leadership philosophy.
Regarding authentic leadership style, it refers to an approach that emphasizes leaders should act in a manner that is genuine and sincere to who they are as individuals. Since the primary component of this leadership style is genuineness, every authentic leader is unique. However, there exist several qualities that authentic leaders share. Firstly, they demonstrate behavior which attracts people to trust them all the time. They also take ownership when they make a mistake. Moreover, they show the necessary courage to question the status quo, defend their people or process, and strive for continuous growth and development (Duncan et al., 2017). Owing to these qualities, authentic leaders possess the ability to let go of their ego; thus, they genuinely empower and develop others. Additionally, by practicing genuineness, they influence and inspire their followers or subordinates. Furthermore, by owning mistakes, they commit to their learning, consequently developing deep self-awareness. Lastly, authentic leaders are able to deliver excellent outcomes in the long-term (Covelli & Mason, 2017). Thus, authentic leadership not only helps leaders build trust and attract followers’ love and respect, but also facilitates long-term success.
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On the other hand, the servant leadership style is a philosophy practiced by leaders who possess a serve-first mindset. Leaders who abide by this style are focused on empowering and uplifting their followers or subordinates. Rather than emphasizing commanding others, servant leaders focus on ensuring other people’s priorities and needs are being served (Spears & Lawrence, 2016). According to Spears and Lawrence, servant leaders exhibit awareness, foresight, and stewardship. Other characteristics of a servant leader include listening, conceptualization, empathy, healing (supporting people’s emotional health), and persuasion skills. They are also committed to building a community and are committed to the growth of other people. Eva et al. (2019) elucidate that a servant leader’s primary focus is the growth and well-being of people they lead and communities. Thus, rather than focusing on accumulating and exercising power and the said power, they share power with their followers or subordinates. Also, by putting others’ needs first, they help them develop and perform at optimal levels. Therefore, the servant leadership approach inverts the traditional norm so that instead of subordinates working to serve the leader, the leader strives to serve the subordinates.
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Comparing the two leadership styles has helped me identify, I abide by the philosophies practiced by both authentic and servant leaders. However, my leadership style is more inclined towards servant leadership. Notably, I make a deep commitment to listen intently and understand what people say. I also strive to understand other intentions, perspectives and intentions; thus, demonstrate empathy. Thirdly, I possess strong emotional intelligence and, as such, exhibit self-awareness as a leader. Fourthly, rather than using authority to command people, I prefer utilizing persuasion as a way of encouraging people to take action. Fifthly, I have a strong ability to look beyond day-to-day realities and conceptualize ways to bring positive change. Moreover, my leadership style demonstrates stewardship, foresight, and I am committed to the growth of people and building communities.
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