An individual can perceive leadership in all types of ways but certain characteristics can mold an individual to be a great leader, that can influence a follower and change a person’s point of view on what a leader should be. Anyone can be a leader but it takes a lot more than just the title to make a great servant leader. It takes one to know how it is to be a follower before leading individuals and honing the skills to be a servant leader.
A servant leader does not stick to just one perspective of what leadership should be, he or she continues to grow and learn from individuals that are above or below and continue to be a servant. As Lao Tzu wrote in Tao Te Ching. “The sage has no invariable mind of his own; he makes the mind of the people his mind.” A servant leader shares his or her power, developing an individual to perform as highly as possible and encouraging them to be the best version that they can be. Providing knowledge and encouragement, a servant leader applies his intellect to improve not just himself or a certain individual, but to better an organization as a whole. The characteristics that a servant leader hones are modesty, trust, and benevolence. Being humble and putting others before himself or herself, a servant leader goes by the NCO Creed in its entirety; an individual can determine a servant leader by their subordinates because the performance of a follower is a reflection of the leader.
As defined on Merriam-webster, followership is the capacity or willingness to follow a leader. A follower has to always uphold the army values, having integrity and being true no matter what situation they may find themselves in. Being loyal to and trusting their leadership’s judgments and always committing to the duty given. And upholding the respect that peers, subordinates, or leaders are entitled to. Followership is presented by personnel that commits to or her values, and always have the personal courage to go above and beyond just being a regular individual. A follower is a root to an organization, without followers, there is no organization, and as Merle Crowell said “It is the men behind who make the man ahead.”.
A servant leader is nonexistent without a follower. The one trait that needs to be carried on from a follower to a leader is to always be a servant. Between followership and a servant leader both have certain characteristics that are shared, both are respectful to those that are above and below them. Sustain trust within each other, as a servant leader to a follower or vice versa. A servant leader and a follower have the mindset of working together to better accomplish the duty that is given to them, asking for input from one another disregarding rank or position. Both a follower and a servant leader are caring to those that they are associated with; their leader and peers.
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