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Comparison of The Characteristics of Followership and Servant Leadership

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The purpose of this essay is to compare and contrast the characteristics of followership and servant leadership. It is important to understand how these leadership concepts relate to each other. As young leaders begin to develop, these concepts are tools to utilize in honing personal leadership styles. The analysis of these two concepts should provide insight on each leader in their current position and the leader they hope to become.

Both servant leadership and followership require critical thinking when making decisions. In an essay from the Sergeant Majors Academy, one quality of a servant leader is the necessity of foresight. When conducting operations, servant leaders need to foresee and critically deliberate about potential complications that could interfere with Soldiers needs. For example if going out to the range, servant leaders must anticipate how the Soldiers will get a meal. The same is true for an effective follower. After receiving a task, an effective follower should begin to contemplate solutions or avenues for completion. If they follow blindly, various obstacles could go unanticipated thus putting the success of the mission in jeopardy.

While servant leadership and followership might have similarities, they do have conflicting characteristics. Followership can look different in various situations. Depending on the environment, the different types of followership can help or bring down the team. According to the Two-Dimensional Model of Follower Behavior by R.E Kelly, the sheep follower is passive and an un-critical thinker. Upon first glance, the sheep is a highly negative position. However, the sheep might benefit the team when there is a continuous struggle of power to lead the team. Another way of phrasing this is using the common saying, “too many cooks in the kitchen.” Yet the sheep follower might not be a beneficial role when no one is taking initiative. On the other hand, servant leadership is not a spectrum-based concept. When dealing with this concept it is only a single list of qualities that if achieved will fit every situation. This does not allow much individuality to be displayed, but it does allow a guideline or achievable for every leader to strive for.

In conclusion, the essay has analyzed the similarities and differences that are inherent to the servant leadership and followership concepts. When presenting these, it is important to remember not one concept is better. Rather young leaders should utilize each concept as they approach various situations and judge how they will use these skills.


  1. Kelly, R.E. (2000). Followership in a Volunteer Environment: Lesson 2 material. Date of Retrieval 12 November 2019.
  2. NCOLCOE Sergeants Major Academy. (2019). BLC course material: B112 PowerPoint. Date of Retrieval 12 November 2019.

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Comparison of the Characteristics of Followership and Servant Leadership. (2022, February 10). GradesFixer. Retrieved August 6, 2022, from
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