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Transformational Versus Servant Leadership: A Difference in Leader Focus

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The article was written for an audience of leaders.  The purpose is to examine the similarities and differences between transformational and servant leadership. The topic is significant because these two leadership methods have many overlapping concepts, and distinguishing between the two is sometimes difficult. This paper will evaluate and analyze the content of the article, describe the types of organizational cultures which would work best with each of the two methods of leadership, and which cultures are not suited to each type of leadership, and identify what cultures should be developed to enable these leadership styles to exist.

This article, is concerned with the issues of leadership and management, but it inspires a unique approach. (Blanchard, 1999).¬† ‚ÄúIt is concerned with the individual and how leaders deal with followers in an effort to achieve the organization‚Äôs objectives‚ÄĚ (Blanchard, 1999).

The article divides into four main sections. The first section of the paper deals with the transformational leadership and transactional leadership, and the differences between the two paradigms. The second segment identifies, summarizes, and describes the four behaviors established by Avolio et al. (1991) that ‚Äúcharacterize the practice of transformational leadership‚ÄĚ (Avolio (1991). The third segment discusses servant leadership, and summarizes the behavioral components of the model. The fourth section compares the similarities and differences of the two theories. The article concludes with a summary of the characteristics of each of the two paradigms and the similarities and distinctions between the two theories.

Transformational Leadership vs. Transactional leadership

Transformational leadership is about developing a personal set of values and being committed to those values. According to Bass, (1990b).Transformational leadership ‚Äúoccurs when leaders broaden and elevate the interests of their employees, when they generate awareness and acceptance of the purpose and mission of the group, and when they stir their employees to look beyond their own self-interest for the good of the group‚ÄĚ (Bass, 990b, p.21).

(LODJ, 2004).

Transactional leadership is about It is also about developing a shared vision, and about identifying and capitalizing on the strengths of the individual, and developing employees’ potential. The individual must be permitted to learn and achieve progress towards the objectives he shares with the organization (Avoid & Bass, 2002).

(LODJ, 2004).

Transformational Leadership

There are four behaviors established by Avolio et al. (1991) that ‚Äúcharacterize the practice of transformational leadership‚ÄĚ (Avolio (1991). They are idealized influence, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, and individualized consideration. (LODJ 25, 4, 350).¬† Transformational leadership is primarily about developing a personal set of values and being committed to those values. According to Bass, (1990b).

(LODJ, 2004).

Transformational leadership ‚Äúoccurs when leaders broaden and elevate the interests of their employees, when they generate awareness and acceptance of the purpose and mission of the group, and when they stir their employees to look beyond their own self-interest for the good of the group‚ÄĚ (Bass, 990b, p.21). According to Bass, (1990b).Transformational leadership ‚Äúoccurs when leaders broaden and elevate the interests of their employees, when they generate awareness and acceptance of the purpose and mission of the group, and when they stir their employees to look beyond their own self-interest for the good of the group‚ÄĚ (Bass, 990b, p.21).

‚ÄúTransformational leadership emphasizes the importance of influencing and valuing people, listening, mentoring and teaching, or empowering followers‚ÄĚ (LODJ 25, 4, 350). It covers such concepts as active listening, developing cooperative relationships, creative rewards, treating others with dignity and respect, supporting others‚Äô decisions, and praising others for job well done. The transformational leader articulates the vision in a clear and articulate manner, and leading by example. relationships, creative rewards, treating others with dignity and respect, supporting others‚Äô decisions, and praising others for job well done. is concerned with the magnetism and charisma of the leader.

(LODJ, 2004).

Servant Leadership

Servant leadership is a leadership paradigm first developed by Robert Greenleaf, in the 1960s (Rouse, p. 292, 1998). Greenleaf (1969, 1977), believed that ‚Äúleadership must primarily meet the needs of others‚ÄĚ (Greenleaf, 1977). This form of leadership, similar to transformational leadership, has many components, but it is about the idea that the ‚Äúrole of the leader is fulfilled by serving employees, customers, and the community‚ÄĚ (Greenleaf, 1998).

(LODJ, 2004).

Servant leadership occurs when leaders raise the interests of their employees above their own, and when they engender recognition and acceptance of the mission, and rouse their employees to look beyond their own self-interest for the good of all. (Greenleaf, 1977).

(LODJ, 2004).

The servant leadership model also espouses the characteristics of idealized influence, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, and individualized consideration, but adds several attributes to these basic functions. Idealized influence is concerned with motivating others. The servant leader is not motivated by the ability to ‚Äėbe the boss‚Äô, and direct others, but rather by the desire to instill motivation by the followers, and thus to facilitate service and stewardship. It is an easy-going, humble way to affect employees‚Äô behavior. Servant leadership is an unusual and innovative method for generating motivation and enthusiasm, and for affecting attitudes and for directing the behavior of staff.

(LODJ, 2004).

Similarities and Differences

Transformational leadership and servant leadership have basic functions in common. They both emphasize the characteristics of idealized influence, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, and individualized consideration. However, ‚Äú‚Ķ.transformational leadership and service leadership do have points of variation‚ÄĚ (LODJ 25, 4, 350). it is about the idea that the ‚Äúrole of the leader is fulfilled by serving employees, customers, and the community‚ÄĚ (Greenleaf, 1998).

(LODJ, 2004).

¬†‚ÄúServant leadership puts a much greater emphasis upon service‚ÄĚ (LODJ 25, 4, 350). The servant leader is not motivated by the ability to ‚Äėbe the boss‚Äô, and direct others, but rather by the desire to instill motivation by the followers, and thus to facilitate service and stewardship. It is concerned with “how leaders deal with followers in an effort to achieve the organization‚Äôs objectives.”¬† It is an easy-going, humble way to affect employees‚Äô behavior. (LODJ 25, 4, 350). Servant leadership bears a great emphasis upon service; it is an unusual and innovative method for generating motivation and enthusiasm, and for affecting attitudes and for directing the behavior of staff.

(LODJ, 2004).

¬†‚ÄúWhen servant leadership is used, follower influence and motivation results from the focus of the leader‚ÄĚ (LODJ, 2004).

¬†‚ÄúServant leaders influence followers through their own dedication to service‚ÄĚ (LODJ, 2004).

Inspirational motivation ¬†includes commitment to goals, communication, and enthusiasm; Intellectual stimulation, has the added attributes of¬† rationality and problem-solving; Individualized consideration ‚Äú‚Ķemphasize the importance of influencing and valuing people, listening, mentoring and teaching, or empowering followers‚ÄĚ (LODJ, 2004).

One of the primary characteristics of both transformational and servant leadership deals with idealized influence. Whereas transformational leadership is concerned with the magnetism and charisma of the leader, servant leaders influence followers through their own dedication to service.  When servant leadership is used, follower influence and motivation results from the focus of the leader. (LODJ, 2004).

Cultures

Regardless of which leadership theory a leader adopts, it is necessary to create a culture of community, in order to motivate people to seek personal development and growth. Individual differences must always be considered. (LODJ, 2004).

It is significant that both theories apply to most companies; however, the best theory to use in a given company depends on the culture of the organization. Culture is the abstract entity that gives people direction, instruction, guidance, and feedback. (LODJ, 2004).

The leader determines the tone and configures the environment for the growth and performance of the people within the culture. The culture of an organization is in many ways, synonymous with the values of the organization. The culture nurtures and supports the individuals within the system.

Therefore, if servant leadership is used, a culture must be enables that will facilitate this type of leadership system. Conversely, if transformational leadership is used, the culture must be one that enables the behaviors associated with transformational leadership. Both transformational and servant leadership are best suited for use in a “people-oriented culture; an environment that allows people to function at the top of their potential as individuals, while enhancing the performance of the organization itself. (LODJ, 2004).

The best culture for transformational leadership might be a larger organization. People are often more isolated in big companies. E-mail, voicemail and the Internet allow fast communication. There is often an absence of personal interaction. It may not be possible for leaders to develop personal relationships with their employees and show an interest their lives… The focus of servant leadership is upon others rather than upon self and on understanding of the role of the leader as a servant‚ÄĚ The individual must be enabled to learn and achieve progress towards the objectives he shares with the organization. (LODJ, 2004).

The most fertile ground for servant leadership to grow would be a small organization. In smaller organizations, people know each other better because they interact with each other more frequently; therefore, it is easier to set a personal example. (LODJ, 2004).

Technically, either transformational or servant leadership can work in any type of organization, but it is necessary to enable a culture of community, so that people will be motivated to develop their potential and to seek growth as an individual. Culture is the abstract entity that gives people direction, instruction, guidance, and feedback. (LODJ, 2004).

The culture of an organization is in many ways, synonymous with the values of the organization. The culture nurtures and supports the individuals within the system. The leader determines the tone and configures the environment for the growth and performance of the people within the culture. Therefore, if servant leadership is used, a culture must be enabled that will facilitate this type of leadership system. (LODJ, 2004).

Servant leadership may be best suited for use in a “people-oriented culture; an environment that allows people to function at the top of their potential as individuals, while enhancing the performance of the organization itself. The most fertile ground for servant leadership to grow would be a small organization. In smaller organizations, people know each other better because they interact with each other more frequently; therefore, it is easier to set a personal example. (LODJ, 2004).

Critique

This article is well organized, and written in clear, plain language. It provides valuable insights, and opens up room for thought about the two different kind of leadership. It is significant because it makes distinctions between two different kinds of leadership models, and because both paradigms are peripherally concerned with the patterns that leaders can develop that often segue into leadership problems. This is especially appropriate in today’s world of business, because leaders often form poor leadership habits because of the example set by their role models.

‚ÄúTransformational Versus Servant Leadership‚ÄĚ provides useful advice for leaders, especially in the areas of ¬†recognizing the value of people, and identifying and capitalizing on the strengths of the individual,¬† the need for leaders to stimulate their followers‚Äô efforts ‚Äúto be innovative and creative, includes commitment to goals, communication, and enthusiasm, on the need for leaders to give their people individualized consideration and to challenge people to try out new and innovative ways to do their work. (LODJ, 2004).

‚ÄúTransformational Versus Servant Leadership‚ÄĚ covers such concepts as active listening, developing praising those and setting a good example. This is especially appropriate, because leaders often form poor leadership habits because of the example set by their role models.

(LODJ, 2004).

The author’s concepts can be applied in most companies and organizations.  The use of the ideas in this article will enables the leader to identify acquired habits and potential pitfalls that lead to leadership problems, and provides the tools to help them alter their style for more effective management. It is significant that the author suggests a concise list of such habits for leaders to dissect and change. (LODJ, 2004).

In summary, The servant leader is not motivated by the ability to ‚Äėbe the boss‚Äô, and direct others, but rather by the desire to instill motivation by the followers, and thus to facilitate service and stewardship. It is an easy-going, humble way to affect employees‚Äô behavior. Servant leadership is an unusual and innovative method for generating motivation and enthusiasm, and for affecting attitudes and for directing the behavior of staff.

Technically, servant leadership can work in any type of organization, but it is necessary to enable a culture of community, so that people will be motivated to develop their potential and to seek growth as an individual. Culture is the abstract entity that gives people direction, instruction, guidance, and feedback. The culture of an organization is in many ways, synonymous with the values of the organization. The culture nurtures and supports the individuals within the system. The leader determines the tone and configures the environment for the growth and performance of the people within the culture.

Therefore, if servant leadership is used, a culture must be enabled that will facilitate this type of leadership system. Servant leadership may be best suited for use in a “people-oriented culture; an environment that allows people to function at the top of their potential as individuals, while enhancing the performance of the organization itself. The most fertile ground for servant leadership to grow would be a small organization. In smaller organizations, people know each other better because they interact with each other more frequently; therefore, it is easier to set a personal example. (Blanchard, 1999).

Ttransformational leadership and service leadership both emphasize the importance of influencing and valuing people, listening, mentoring and teaching, or empowering followers‚ÄĚ decisions, praising those who do an outstanding job, and setting a good example. (LODJ 25, 4, 350)

Transformational leadership is about developing a personal set of values and being committed to those values. It is also about developing a shared vision, and about identifying and capitalizing on the strengths of the individual, and developing employees’ potential. (Blanchard, 1999).The individual must be enabled to learn and achieve progress towards the objectives he shares with the organization (Avolio & Bass, 2002).

Servant leadership is a leadership paradigm first developed by Robert Greenleaf, in the 1960s (Rouse, p. 292, 1998). This form of leadership, similar to transformational leadership, has many components, but it is about the idea that the ‚Äúrole of the leader is fulfilled by serving employees, customers, and the community‚ÄĚ (Greenleaf, 1998). Servant leadership occurs when leaders raise the interests of their employees above their own, and when they engender recognition and acceptance of the mission, and rouse their employees to look beyond their own self-interest for the good of all. (Greenleaf, 1998).

When servant leadership is used, follower influence and motivation results from the focus of the leader. Whereas transformational leadership is concerned with the magnetism and charisma of the leader, servant leaders influence followers through their own dedication to service. (Blanchard, 1999). Servant leadership is about developing a personal set of values and being committed to those values. Servant leadership is about developing a personal set of values and being committed to those values. It may be a good idea for a leader to spend some time alone to sort out and define his values and beliefs. Then the leader can discuss this subject team and come up with a list of the values and beliefs that the whole team stands for. The culture nurtures and supports the individuals within the system. (Blanchard, 1999).

Servant leadership is also about influencing others, setting a good example, and becoming a respected role model.  Servant leadership fosters real interaction and communication, and supports a positive, ethical approach to management. (Blanchard, 1999).

Servant leadership focuses on the need for leaders to give their people individualized consideration and to challenge people to try out new and innovative ways to do their work.

Both forms of management transformational can bring about necessary change in different ways, in organizational behavior. Regardless of what orientation one has in leadership style–task or people–effective leaders make room for people. Leaving them out is a big, big leadership mistake. It is necessary to spend time and energy making certain that the people you work with will adhere to the agreed-upon standards. (Blanchard, 1999).

Both transformational and servant leadership are best suited for use in a ‚Äėpeople-oriented culture,‚Äô an environment that allows people to function at the top of their potential as individuals, while enhancing the performance of the organization itself. It is necessary to enable a culture that will facilitate this type of leadership system. (LODJ, 2004). A culture must be enabled that will motivate people to seek personal development and growth. the people you work with will adhere to the agreed-upon standards. (LODJ, 2004).

One of the primary characteristics of both transformational and servant leadership deals with idealized influence. Whereas transformational leadership is concerned with the magnetism and charisma of the leader, servant leaders influence followers through their own dedication to service. (Blanchard, 1999). Inspirational motivation is another shared component of these two leadership models. Inspirational motivation includes commitment to goals, communication, and enthusiasm. Intellectual stimulation includes rationality and problem ‚Äďsolving. (LODJ, 2004).

‚ÄúOverall, both servant and transformational leadership offer valid, yet distinct paradigms for contemporary leadership in all types of organizations‚ÄĚ (LODJ, 2004).

‚ÄúDuring the last ten years, there has been an overwhelming interest in the art and practice of leadership, however, the emphasis has been on the health of the organization, rather than on how leaders relate to the people in their organization‚ÄĚ (Blanchard, 1999). ¬†This article, points out the idea of servant leadership, which fosters real interaction and communication, and ‚Äúpromotes a sense of community and the sharing of power in decision-making, and most of all, the idea that leaders exist to help their people to succeed‚ÄĚ (Blanchard, 1999). This article makes a substantial contribution to the volume of literature on this subject. is about inspirational motivation, which includes commitment to goals, communication, and enthusiasm. intellectual stimulation, including rationality and problem ‚Äďsolving. individualized consideration, and this includes such concepts as personal attention, mentoring, listening, and empowerment. (Blanchard, 1999).

Opinion

Servant leadership fosters real interaction and communication, and supports a positive, ethical approach to management.

Conclusion

There are many leadership books available, but this book is different because it delivers what it promises, and provides no-nonsense, practical advice for leaders. The author’s concepts can be utilized in most companies and organizations.  It enables the leader to identify acquired habits and potential pitfalls that lead to leadership problems, and provides the tools to help them alter their style for more effective management.

This well-written book, and provides valuable insights, and opens up room for thought about a different kind of leadership. Servant leadership focuses on the need for leaders to give their people individualized consideration and to challenge people to try out new and innovative ways to do their work. The theory is also is concerned with the patterns that leaders fall into, that can lead to leadership problems.

In ‚ÄúThe Heart of a Leader: Insights on the Art of Influence‚ÄĚ, the author covers such concepts as active listening, developing cooperative relationships, creative rewards, treating others with dignity and respect, supporting others‚Äô decisions, praising those who do an outstanding job, and setting a good example. This is especially appropriate, because leaders often form poor leadership habits because of the example set by their role models.

It is significant that the author suggests a concise list of such habits for leaders to dissect and change. The author’s positive and supportive attitude fosters real interaction and communication, and is a superior accolade to the relationship between leaders and those they guide. This is a book is a treasure for anyone in a position of leadership.

This book points out the idea of servant leadership, which fosters real interaction and communication, and promotes a sense of community and the sharing of power in decision-making. This book is a treasure for anyone in a position of leadership.

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Bass, B.M. (1985), Leadership, and Performance beyond Expectations, The Free

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Bass, B.M. (1960), Leadership, Psychology, and Organizational Behavior, Harper: New York.

Bass, B.M. (1990), Bass, and Stogdill’s Handbook of Leadership: Theory, Research, and

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Turbulent Times, Thompson: London. This practitioner-influenced text provides an account of various aspects of leadership associated with the BT Global Challenge.

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Hickman, G. R. (1998), Leading Organizations, Sage: London. This book provides an

interesting framework for examining and integrating a number of current leadership

issues.

Kakabadse, A. and Kakabadse, N. (1998), Essence of Leadership, Thompson: London: A British

               Perspective on aspects of both transactional and transformational leadership.

Thompson, P. and McHugh, D (2001) Work Organizations, Palgrave: Basingstoke. This is a

               useful background text, which integrates sociological and behavioral material and

               contrasts conventional and critical approaches to organizations and organizing.

Clegg, S.R., Hardy, C., and Nord, W.R. (1999), Managing Organizations: Current Issues. Sage:

London.  A series of very topical essays on a range of issues related to organizations and

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 Cooper, D. R., & Schindler, P. S. (2003). Business research methods (8th Ed.).                McGraw-Hill, Boston.

Cranwell-Ward, J., Bacon, J. and Mackie, R. (2002), Inspiring Leadership: Staying Afloat in

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account of various aspects of leadership associated with the BT Global Challenge.

Daft, R.L. (2002), The Leadership Experience, Thompson: London. This text is very

 much concerned with the application of theory and considers the implications of

a range of post-bureaucratic organizational forms and practices.

Grint, K. (1997) Leadership: Classical, Contemporary and Critical Approaches, Oxford

University Press: Oxford:  This book includes a selection of readings which represent the

views of classical and modern authors as well as those proposing some interesting

alternative perspectives.

Hickman, G. R. (1998), Leading Organizations, Sage: London. This book provides an

interesting framework for examining and integrating a number of current leadership

issues.

Kakabadse, A. and Kakabadse, N. (1998), Essence of Leadership, Thompson: London: A British

               Perspective on aspects of both transactional and transformational leadership.

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Thompson, P. and McHugh, D (2001) Work Organizations, Palgrave: Basingstoke. This is a

               useful background text, which integrates sociological and behavioral material and

               contrasts conventional and critical approaches to organizations and organizing.

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