The purpose of this paper is to identify common and distinctive features of servant-leadership and followership in the army. At first glance, the two concepts are close, interrelated and similar, since they imply service. However, while followership and servant leadership are similar in such traits as a willingness to be helpful, trust, and respect, followers have significantly fewer responsibilities than servant leaders in the military.
Servant leadership and followership share many of the same characteristics. In both cases, the soldier or leader seeks opportunities to serve and be useful, take responsibility for specific tasks, and show respect for the people they serve. In addition, trust is one of the critical aspects that soldiers and leaders must express to each other (Davis, 2017). However, while followers seek responsibility to help a leader, they do not have such broad powers and duties. For example, a soldier as a follower who trusts the leader takes responsibility for participating in a battle or speaking his opinion and reporting information that can be useful to the leader. However, the servant leader must not only give orders but also provide motivation, growth, and support to the soldiers. This aspect is crucial in a war zone as the ability to motivate, understand, and support soldiers who see death are necessary to invoke their courage. Hence, it is the service of a leader to provide soldiers with the resources and knowledge to motivate them to follow orders, not only because of the army’s rules but also because of their trust in their leader.
In conclusion, despite such similarities as followership and servant-leadership as a desire to serve, trust, and respect, the two concepts have differences in responsibility. The followers can demonstrate their service by being in charge of their actions and helping the leader fulfill his or her duties. However, the servant leader is responsible for all of his or her soldiers and provides them with resources, knowledge, support, and direction.
Davis, N. (2017). Review of followership theory and servant leadership theory: Understanding how servant leadership informs followership. In C. Davis (ed.), Servant leadership and followership (pp. 207-223). Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan.