Leadership Styles 3
Transformational Leadership 3
Servant Leadership 3
Transformational Leadership VS Servant Leadership, Comparison and Contrast 4
Relevance of Transformational and Servant Leadership with Founders Day Presentation 7
My Ideal Leadership Style 10
Leadership is one of the most widely discussed subjects in both academia and organizational practices. In last twenty years, numerous definitions of leadership are elucidated but yet it’s hard to classify this key term comprehensively. However, in a most generic and simplified manner, leadership is defined as ‘organizing or leading a group of people to accomplish a common goal’. Over the years, several leadership models and styles have been elaborated. Some of the more recent models include transformational leadership and servant leadership.
The term transformational Leadership is first introduced by James Mc. Burns in his research work on political leaders back in 1978 ( Burns, J.M, 1978). According to transformational leadership, leadership is a process in which “leaders and followers help each other to achieve higher level of motivation, morale and success”. An excerpt from Burns’s book explains the concept as “Transformational leadership occurs when one or more persons engage with others in such a way that leaders and followers raise one another to higher levels of motivation and morality” (Burns, 1978, p. 123).
Therefore, the conceptual model of transformational leadership emphasize that the leaders should set a moral example in team work to achieve the goals of community and/or organization. Burns conceptualized that the transforming leaders are the one who collaborate with their followers but they lead from the front.
The concept of servant leadership was first coined in 1970 by Robert K. Greennleaf in an essay named as ‘The Servant as Leaders’. According to R. K Greenleaf, “servant leader is a servant first It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead” (Greenleaf, R., 1991). He theorized his idea by bringing up the concept that a servant leader emphasizes on followers. The servant-leader is the one whose number one priority is serving others, whether it is the customer or an employee or a community in general. This holistic approach of leadership promotes the idea of power sharing in making decision.
Transformational Leadership VS Servant Leadership, Comparison and Contrast
Transformational leadership and servant leadership concepts have roots in charismatic leaderships and they are often being referred as biblical leadership principles. The charismatic leadership conceptual model has closed links with the Max Weber’s work who elaborated leader as a charismatic person who influences his followers through his charisma, beliefs and personality. However, it has been argued that charismatic leadership requires more than the leader’s personal extraordinary potentials. Particularly, Graham, J. W. (1991) has compared the Weberan idea of charismatic personality with the concept of transformational leadership and servant leadership. Graham argued that charismatic leadership is the combination and theoretical underpinning of both of these leadership models.
In transformational leadership style, a leader is a person who inspires his followers. A transforming-leader shares a vision, empowers his followers to achieve the vision, and also provides the required resource for developing and nurturing their personal potential. On the other hand, servant leadership conceptualizes leaders as servants of their followers. It gives more importance to the interest of followers rather than the self interest of a leader, and besides that it also put emphasis on the empowerment and personal development of followers.
According to Burns, the pioneer of transformational leadership (Burn, 1978), the transformational leadership style stresses upon how leaders approach power and it utilizes their power to achieve the ultimate goal. It is more goal-oriented but the follower’s welfare is also the by-product. On the contrary, servant-leadership has specifically idealized to achieve and enhance the welfare of followers. Servant-leadership is more likely relate to the participative leadership style. It accentuates more services to others, higher level of participation of the followers and collaborating with them in decision making.
The transformational leadership style has been conceptualized containing four distinct behavioral components: idealized influence, intellectual stimulation, inspirational motivation and individualized consideration (Bass, 1985; Bass & Avolio, 1994). Similarly, servant leadership style has been conceptualized containing six behavioral components: valuing people, developing people, displaying authenticity, building community, providing leadership, sharing leadership (Laub, 1999). These behavioral components are compared by Stone et al. (2004) and in effect, they have listed the similarities and differences among the two leadership styles. Stone et al. arguments that servant leadership concept does not cater for the intellectual stimulation component of transformational leadership. In addition, servant leadership style is more concerned about emotional prosperity of an employee compared to the transformational leadership style.
Moreover, in servant model the motivation of a leader to lead the cause arises from the underlying behavior of impartiality. It emphasizes that as a leader he or she is not better in characteristics or qualities than those who are being led. On the contrary, the transformational leader’s motivation emerges intrinsically from that fact that leader has a charisma of outstanding abilities of leadership. The motivation of a transformational leader is based on more macro focus and it possesses the sense of goal accomplishment while facing the challenges from outside environment. Stone et al. (2004) further argued that the transformational leadership is better for the organization/community with dynamic environment, where employees have greater responsibility and they are encouraged to bring change creativity and assume more risk and initiatives. In contrast, servant leadership style is inclined to base and grow on more static and conservative approach to the external environment.
Smith et al., (2004) have also suggested that “the leader’s motivation for behaving is a critical distinction between the two theories” (p. 85). In an organization, the motivation of servant-leader is focused more on the followers’ personal growth, and therefore the success of servant leader is realized by the extent of how much the follower moves toward the self-actualization (Maslow, 1970). On the other hand, the motivation of transformational leaders is focused more toward achieving success for the organization, which will be realized on their own abilities, and the success of the transformational leaders is calculated by the extent of how much they obtain organizational rewards (Smith et al., 2004, p. 80-91). In transformational leadership the development of followers is approached as a way for obtaining the organization goal while in servant leadership, it is itself a goal.
The dissimilarity between transformational leadership and servant leadership styles has fundamental implications concerning with the organizational change management. According to Lowder (2009), in today’s dynamic business environment, transformational leadership style is the best choice in creating followership and treating with change management. The servant leadership style emphasizes on overcoming this fear of change by developing shared meaning in an entire organization.
According to a study carried out by Farling, Stone, and Winston (1999), servant-leaders provide and gain vision and trust from their followers and in affect they influence each other. In comparison, Bass (1985) elaborated that transformational-leaders transform and convert the personal values and conviction of the followers to strengthen the goals and vision of the organization by nurturing an atmosphere where relationships can be developed and by creating a suitable environment of trust in which visions can be shared. It can be examined that each of these two statements from two different studies, the two characteristics which are being highlighted are trust and vision, and they are the integral part of both leadership models.
Therefore, the conceptual framework of both of these leadership styles is somewhat similar. Parallels have been drawn between both leadership styles. They share many similar attributes such as the empowerment, respect, sharing, trust, reliability, integrity, individualized consideration, vision and welfare of organization and/or community (Stone et al., 2004). However, the key difference identified in most of research studies is the focus of the leader. As identified by Stone et al. (2004), “the focus of the transformational leader is directed toward the organization and building commitment to organizational objectives through empowering followers, while the servant-leader focuses on the service itself”.
Indeed, transformational leadership style and servant leadership are both complementary frameworks, that share a focus on the well-being of followers and put emphasis on many leadership qualities, but they also differ significantly in leader’s motivation, metric of success, contextual backgrounds and organization goals. Many successful organizations try to incorporate both leadership styles simultaneously in order to achieve the mutual benefits of both leadership styles. This would also help them to acquire sustainable growth and consequently, the overall growth and prosperity of their employees as well.
Relevance of Transformational and Servant Leadership with Founders Day Presentation
The similarities and differences among both leadership styles have significance with the founder’s day presentation. Several key concepts of these leadership styles have direct relevance with the ideas highlighted in founder’s day presentation. For example, as explained in founder’s day presentation, it is always important to be organized, and learning to get along with the people. ‘To be organized’ signifies the importance of setting goals and making appropriate plans to achieve these goals.
‘Learning to get along with the people’ teach us the whole idea of team work. As discussed earlier in both leadership styles, it is always important for a leader to share his vision with his team members/followers and to discuss and work along with them and to encourage them in participating in the decision making process. Likewise, servant leadership tells us to do special things for the followers and to strive for their development and to help them in learning.
As elaborated in founder’s day presentation, one needs to be ambitious in order to achieve goals. Just like the famous phrase, ‘success never knocks the same door twice’, the founder’s day presentation highlights the importance of active decision making, taking risks and accepting the challenges. Similarly, both transformational and servant leadership styles also stress upon the importance of decision making and having ambitious goals. This would help us in achieving greater rewards.
Personal integrity is the characteristic of both servant and transformational leaders. In fact, reputation is regarded as a very high asset. As an individual or as a company one needs to take care of the reputation earned over the years. Moreover, it is also important to earn respect in the eye of the followers. Indeed, both leader and followers need to have mutual relation of respect for each other.
According to the founder’s day presentation, it is important to be aware of the history as well as the present day event. A leader is a visionary who can foresee future by utilizing the knowledge of past and present. He should have adequate knowledge of his surroundings and should be able to translate the events and extract valuable meanings out of it. In doing so, sharing knowledge and skills to achieve organization goal is significant trait of a servant leadership style. Not only skills, but also sharing of reward has been equally vital for the prosperity of followers/employees.
Transformational leadership focuses on achieving the goal by augmenting the capabilities of leader with the followers. The same idea has also been elaborated in founder’s day presentation whereby it is mentioned that one should keep his/her goal clear in mind in order to achieve it. One should have firm belief on his/her capabilities and he should focus on the macro and ultimate objective that is set for him/her. As a leader, it is necessary to keep the larger picture in mind and to avoid any distracting path or thing that can put hurdle in the achievement of the set goal.
Confidence is the hallmark of a successful leader. One needs to be confident in what he says and how he acts. This is not only mentioned in founder’s day presentation but it has also been reflected in all the present day leadership styles. ‘Take pride in your conduct’, is important characteristic for any leader. It’s included in the essentials of servant leadership that one needs to be courteous and friendly towards his employees/followers. However, one should also keep his status upright with dignity and pride.
Another guideline is to do hard-work as much possible. One need to realize that hard-work is the key to success and there is no shortcut towards success. Furthermore, one should not be envious of others. Servant leadership also negates this envious behavior and stresses upon the equal share of benefits among followers.
My Ideal Leadership Style
My ideal “model” or “style” of leadership would be the combination of several leadership styles. I believe that leaders who have the charismatic personality but who blend with their followers are the best ones. In effect, the strengths of servant leaders and exceptional potentials of a transforming leader are both required to realize an ideal leader. In conjunction with these two leadership styles, some of the positives of another leadership model known as authentic leadership may also be realizable if we are discussing about ideals.
First of All, I presume that leaders with a helping disposition enjoy both the faith and respect of their followers. People love to be a part of their team. Far from being a hard-work or tyranny, the exercise of authority by such leaders becomes a pleasurable experience for their subordinates. The latter feel honoured to support enthusiastically the mission and endeavours of such leaders. A true spirit of leadership prevails and everyone enjoys being a part of such an environment. People gladly work beyond the call of duty and the leaders do not have to police every small act of their workforce. Servant leadership model bear these initial characteristics of my ideal leadership style.
Secondly, I think a true leader is quick to foresee the problems and difficulties of his followers, and is ready to redress them in all possible manners. If he has been able to establish his credibility as a man of word, people would feel assured of his efforts and even if the outcome may not be as they expected or desired there would be hardly any displeasure or resentment. Thus to me, a successful leadership style is the one whereby all the employees work around and along with their leader to accomplish the organizational goal and also share the mutual benefits of the achieved success. These unique abilities of a potential ideal leader require an intellectual stimulus which is more viable in transformational leadership style because he is a person who bears some exceptional qualities that can differentiate him from the followers.
It is also significant as a leader to interact with the employees/followers. It would help to soften the edges and to make it sure that the followers do have this feelings that they have the importance and they are engaged and there leader value their existence and contribution. In this regard, ‘value people’ and ‘building community’, the two distinct features of servant leadership are imperative to be incorporated in an ideal leadership style.
As a leader, I consider it important to be self motivated and self directed and to be consistent with my personal values and vision. As a leader, my strength would be to have faith in my abilities and I would stand firm if I truly believe in something. Secondly, my ability and skill of relationship building would also play its part and I will use them to keep a positive environment with the followers
Therefore, to become an ideal leader, I will look for the various leadership characteristics and pick out the ones that make the most sense to me in the fulfilment of the preset organizational goal. After doing that, I would go for selection of an ideal team that can anticipate a common goal. An ideal team would constitute a like-minded community. As a leader, one needs followers who share same beliefs and characteristic what one himself do. That is, the followers who have the same goals and who strive to achieve these goals. Another key aspect is to know the limitations induced by time and other constraints. After realizing the limitations, one tends to plan and work in a better way to combat the shortcomings of individual or the team and avoid them so that they may not become a hurdle while enduring the goals assigned to the team. Therefore, as a leader, it is an important job for me to keep an eye on such limitations and constraints. Hence, if I define my style of leadership or my ideal leadership style in the context of what is being presented here, I think transformational leadership model as my basis of being an ideal leader in conjecture with the empathy and compassion of servant leaders.
The workplace where I aspire to implement this ideal leadership style is known as beat team. The schematic of beat team is devised to provide a platform whereby local community and police can do a combine effort in order to prevent crimes and help to keep a safer atmosphere. However, this platform of beat team may not only be restricted to prevent crimes but it can also be useful to strengthen relationships among the local individuals and in collaborating with each other in emergency situations like combating fire and road accidents, etc.
In order to regulate things, one or more leading personnel are nominated who are responsible to organize the event and also to spread the awareness among the local inhabitants about the effectiveness of beat team. I believe that such nominees, the beat team leaders, should have the characteristic of my ideal leadership style. They should have the charismatic personality so that local inhabitants give importance to their awareness campaign and in order to have the competency to interact with the local inhabitants more affectively. These leaders should be self directed and motivated in order to have the capability to stand firm in a troublesome situations. They must be quick in decision making when they are facing an emergency problem and for that they must have leadership qualities so that they can also collaborate and take suggestions from the community about their decisions.
Moreover, it is required to develop an empathetic relationship with the participants of beat team meetings in order to gain their confidence. Thus the role of beat team-leader in a workplace of beat team is important to mobilize individuals to help police in preventing crimes, and therefore, they must exhibit distinctive and unique qualities of both the transformational and servant leadership styles.
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