Servant Leadership and followership are two philosophies that today’s leaders use to work with soldiers day to day basis. Leaders cannot do it all alone, they need the help and input of the soldiers beneath them. Soldiers build and develop better with the help of others to share opinions and constructive criticism. Servant leadership coincides with followership on some level but can also be very different ideas.
A servant leader enjoys the idea of gathering ideas from other people when in a decision making process. The basis of servant leadership uses the army ethics and values to allow the development of soldiers and peers in a working environment. Servant leadership entails using all the army values. Importantly you have to show the respect of asking your soldiers what they may think about a given situation. Being involved with your soldiers grows unit cohesion. A good servant leader will use empathy to understand where a soldier is coming from with his or her ideas to see if they can be combined with his own. A servant leader has ten characteristics including healing, awareness, persuasion, conceptualization, foresight, stewardship, commitment to the growth of people, and building a community.
Followership is different is a way of thinking. Followship is the capacity and willingness to follow a leader. Depending on how well one can comprehend followership can determine whether an outcome is good or great. A great follower will offer ideas to a leader to enhance the experience of a situation. They build trust among peers next to them and leaders appointed over them. In the army a follower would be a team under a noncommissioned officer, there to provide support in varies tasks and provide ideas when asked for.
Servant leadership can go hand and hand with followership. Though different they do share some similarities. Both philosophies share the use of the army values. When either a servant leader or a follower you have to be loyal, respect, and do your duty to those above or below you. Both of these terms look at improving not only soldiers and interpersonal relationships but an organization and a whole. When everyone wants to lead in the army there would be no one to follow. When no one wants to follow, there would be no one to lead. There is no army in that. You cannot have just one or the other. They exist and feed off one another to develop cohesion and the greatest outcomes.
To conclude, Servant leadership coincides with followership on some level but can also be very different ideas. Servant leaders bring others in to make decisions before making one that is not ideal for everyone. Followers serve leaders in giving them opinions and ideas, offering help whenever it is needed. Both ideas use the army values and can be reflected off the leadership responsibility model. As a noncommissioned officer in today’s army I find it key to utilize these thought processes when working with your soldiers every day.
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