Leadership Comparisons: Transform, Authentic, Servant

There are different types of leadership styles. Some of them are transformational, authentic, and servant leadership. While there are multiple differences in these styles of leadership, there are also similarities. Each of this leadership approach has different approach for the followers. Transformational leadership is “a process whereby a person engages with others and creates a connection that raises the level of motivation and morality in both the leader and the follower” (Northouse, 2016, p. 162). Transformational leaders are described as “generally energetic, enthusiastic, and passionate” [ CITATION Ken17 l 4105 ].

Some of the personality characteristics of a transformational leader are “dominant, desire to influence, self-confident, and strong moral values” (Northouse, 2016, p.165).

According to a study by Choi, Goh, Adam and Tan (2016), “… transformational leadership plays a significant role in enhancing employee performance, trust, and commitment in organizations with a hierarchical authority structure” (p.3, para. 2). This means that transformational leaders encourage their followers to work harder and get out of their comfort zones, allowing them to explore a different dimension and enabling them to achieve their goals.

Furthermore, the authors emphasized that transformational leadership “builds a mission-oriented culture with an organization through a social influence process among organizational members” (Choi et al., 2016, p.3 para.2). It is also pointed out by the authors that, “Employees tend to be motivated when transformational leaders give them individual attention and build a coaching system to individually develop employees’ expertise” (Choi et al., 2016, p.5, para.4). This means that a transformational leader is like a teacher, when his/her student gets a good grade it means that the teacher him/herself has done an excellent job; moreover, if and when the teacher makes an effort to help a student, the student is motivated to work harder and make their teacher proud of them.

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According to the study conducted by Choi et al. (2016), “Transformational leaders not only consider their followers individually but also recognize the importance of the team” (p.4 para.4).

The study conducted by the authors suggested that although “transformational leadership positively influences job satisfaction among medical assistants and nurses in the studied hospitals” (Choi et al., 2016, p.12), it cannot enhance job satisfaction of employees through employee empowerment. Transformational leaders encourage and inspires their followers to become leaders, who want to make a positive change in the society, and they encourage their followers to be creative and responsible. Some examples of transformational leaders are Edwards Deming and John D. Rockefeller. Authentic leadership, on the other hand, is described as “leadership that is transparent, morally grounded, and responsive to people’s needs and values” (Northouse, 2016, p.220). Some of the characteristics of an authentic leader are, “self-aware, empathetic, visionary, have integrity, good listeners, consistent, and team-oriented” [CITATION Jes l 4105 ). According to George (2003), “Authentic leadership is the expression of the “true self” which is described as “being your own person” (as cited in Xiong, Lin, Li and Wang, 2016, p.831). Xionget al. (2016), conducted two studies across China, the first one in 9 industries with 228 participants from 14 companies and the second one in 3 industries with 168 participants from 13 companies; whereby the control variables were “age, gender, education and tenure” (Xiong et al., 2016, p.834).

Participants for both the studies were selected randomly. The authors used “authentic leadership questionnaire (ALQ) to measure authentic leadership” (p.833) and Authentic Leadership Inventory (ALI) which is a newly developed authentic leadership measure that has shown high reliability and validity” (p.838). From this study, the authors concluded that “organizations should pay to attention to the development of authentic development” (p.843) as this improves relationship between the leader and his/her followers while simultaneously encouraging both parties to be honest with each other. Moreover, the authors implicated that in order to better manage employees, leaders and followers should work together which will “reduce their affective commitment to the organization” (p.843). Authentic leaders are proud of their successes but are not ashamed of their mistakes/failures, they tend to share their mistakes and failures willingly with the followers to make them understand that a failure is just a blockage on the road that anyone can overcome. Some examples of authentic leaders are Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Job, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Warren Buffet.

Lastly, servant leadership “emphasizes that leaders should be attentive to the needs of followers, empower them, and help them develop their full human capacities” (Northouse, 2016, p. 253). It has been identified by Northouse (2016) that there are ten characteristics of a servant leader, these are: “listening, empathy, healing, awareness, persuasion, conceptualization, foresight, stewardship, commitment to the growth of people, and building community” (p. 227 229). Some of the servant leaders’ behaviors include “putting followers first, creating value for the community, emotional healing, empowering, helping followers grow and success, behaving ethically, and conceptual skills” (Panaccio, Henderson, Liden, Wayne, and Cao, 2014, p.658).

According to Panaccio et al. (2014), “Servant leaders see the fulfillment of stakeholders needs as an end itself, rather than a means for contributing to organizational success” (p.660). This means that servant leaders mainly focus on the needs and well-being of others over their own, one excellent example of a great servant leader is Mother Teresa. Mother Teresa gave up her youth and life to serve those in need around the world. Servant leaders tend to motivate others, who can, to help those who cannot without having any selfish motives and placing others’ interests above their own. Panaccio et al. (2014), concluded that “servant leadership is deserving of continued attention by scholars particularly interested in linking ethical leader behavior to followers’ attitudes and contributions in the employment relationship” (p.672). Each leadership style is different as a one focuses on helping the followers be on path towards attaining success, one focuses on the well-being and success of the followers, and the other being mainly focused on improving the lives and standard of living of others in the community. I think that different leadership approaches are effective at different circumstances, however according to me the most effective is the Authentic leadership approach.

It is the most effective approach as the leader is encouraging the followers to help those in the community but also help those near to them. It establishes the unspoken rule of “Charity begins at home”, the followers get a true sense of helping others by not just helping those who are in need but also of those who need help with little things. This helps creates a friendly and less competitive workplace environment. Moreover, it encourages followers and leaders to be true to themselves and others, and this would more likely reduce conflict in the long run and create empathy between all.

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Leadership Comparisons: Transform, Authentic, Servant. (2022, Mar 09). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/the-similarities-and-differences-between-the-transformational-authentic-and-servant-leadership/

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