Over the past century, leadership styles have emerged as some of the most effective approaches to apply when aspiring to provide a clear sense of direction, motivating a group of likeminded individuals, and the execution of strategies. Leadership styles are currently applied in a wide array of fields with the primary intention of fostering the conceptualization of solutions to aid organizations in making considerable headway. Transformational leadership and servant leadership are two of the most common leadership styles currently in application today.
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Although transformational leadership and servant leadership both endeavor to realize similar goals, they remain unique in their own right as inimitable styles and manner of application. Transformational leadership is essentially a structured system where leaders liaise with their employees and other subordinates to develop a deeper connection among those involved in this exchange (Bass, 2016). As a consequence, higher levels of motivation, ethics, and morality among leaders and followers are then recorded; ultimately resulting in a general rise in trust and productivity. On the other hand, servant leadership is based on an altruistic model where the wellbeing of followers always takes precedence as opposed to focusing solely on self-interest (Dierendonck & Patterson, 2018). From this foundation, it is possible to deduce the fact that transformational leaders work steadily to ensure individual employees are always motivated while servant leaders will focus more on helping employees as one of the main moral obligations.
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Striking similarities are also present in both transformational leadership and servant leadership in relation to their application and mode of operation. As a rule of thumb, both seek to promote an aspect of continuity within an organization by working towards the creation of likeminded leaders within the organization. In both styles, leaders are acutely aware of the significance of human resource and, therefore, ensure that concerted efforts aim to raise the consciousness of staff members. This guarantees their comprehension of their role as an important cog in the organizational wheel and their role in ensuring that set organizational goals are ultimately realized. Leaders eventually avoid self-interest and acknowledge the actual importance of members of staff, which then fosters their drive to nurture, buttress, and empower them in any given situation (Gardenia, 2019).
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Nevertheless, it is worth acknowledging transformational leadership lacks an ethical element to its overall application. Ethics serve an important role in servant leadership where followers are placed above leaders and regarded as equal partners in controlling various aspects of their organization (Northhouse, 2016, p.240). This ultimately impacts the actual manner in which employees are treated during management.
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