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Leadership changes as organizations change. Discuss what servant and authentic leadership are and the key aspects of each? What type of leader do you think that you are within your organization?

by Pooja Jha

The servant leadership concept describes a leader's job as one of fulfilling others' needs. The major mission of the leader, according to this approach, is to develop personnel and assist them in achieving their objectives. Servant leaders prioritise their employees, understanding their personal needs and wants, empowering them, and assisting them in their professional development. Unlike traditional management approaches, servant leadership's overarching goal isn't always to get employees to contribute to business goals. Servant leaders, on the other hand, feel a responsibility to their employees, customers, and the wider community. Employee happiness is viewed as a goal in and of itself, and servant leaders are willing to put their personal well-being on the line to assist others thrive. Servant leaders are engaged in serving the community in addition to having a firm focus on having a moral compass. In other words, their efforts to help others are not limited to corporate employees, and they actually care about the community in which they operate. Because of his mix of social consciousness, empathy, and generosity, we might call Abraham Lincoln a servant leader.

Although servant leadership shares some traits with other leadership methods such as transformational leadership, it is distinguished by its explicit focus on ethics, community development, and self-sacrifice. Employee commitment, employee citizenship behaviours toward the community (such as participating in community volunteering), and job performance all benefit from servant leadership. Leaders that practise servant leadership cultivate an atmosphere of justice in their organisations, which leads to increased levels of interpersonal helping behaviour.

For many managers, who have been schooled to prioritise their own needs, be motivated by achievement, and tell others what to do, the change to servant leadership is difficult. Many of today's business executives, in fact, aren't known for their humility! Leaders who have used this strategy, on the other hand, can attest to its effectiveness.

Authentic Leadership

Leaders must be a variety of things to a variety of people. They work in a variety of structures and with a variety of individuals, and they must be adaptable. At times, it may appear that the best technique for a leader is to be a social chameleon, changing his or her style whenever it is convenient. However, this would overlook the fact that effective leaders must remain true to themselves. This idea is embraced by the authentic leadership method, which encourages people to "be themselves." Consider this: we all come from various places, have different life experiences, and have different role models. These are the events that shape our values, interests, and beliefs during the course of our lives. Authentic leaders draw their power from their own prior experiences, rather than striving to fit into conventional assumptions of what a leader should be like, behave like, or appear like. As a result, self-awareness is a critical trait of true leaders. They are self-aware, understand where they are coming from, and are well-versed in their own values and priorities. Second, they aren't frightened to act in a certain way. To put it another way, they have a high degree of personal integrity. They speak exactly what they believe. They behave in a way consistent with their values—they practice what they preach. Instead of trying to imitate other great leaders, they find their style in their own personality and life experiences.

Howard Schultz, the founder of Starbucks coffeehouses, is an example of an authentic leader. Schultz witnessed his father's job-related challenges as a child as a result of illness issues. Even though he had no notion he would one day run his own company, he had a strong desire to protect others throughout those years, and it became one of his most important principles. He was an industry pioneer in giving health insurance and retirement coverage to part-time and full-time employees when he established Starbucks.

Genuine leadership necessitates self-awareness. As a result, in addition to self-reflection, feedback from others is required to fully comprehend one's actions and impact on others. Because employees are more inclined to trust such a leader, authentic leadership is seen as a potentially impactful approach. Furthermore, working with genuine leaders is likely to result in higher levels of employee happiness, performance, and general well-being.

Transformational leadership, leader-member exchange, servant leadership, and authentic leadership are examples of modern leadership techniques. As means of influence, the transformational leadership approach emphasises leader charisma, inspiring motivation, intellectual stimulation, and customised consideration. The transactional leadership strategy, in which the leader concentrates on getting people to meet company goals, is its polar opposite. According to the leader-member exchange (LMX) concept, the key to leadership effectiveness is the unique, trust-based connections that leaders build with their personnel.

In my opinion, the value of serving people and taking a customer-oriented approach to leadership should not be overlooked. Nowadays, customers expect better service. As a leader, another recent focus has been on the value of being genuine to oneself. While each leadership method focuses on a different aspect of leadership, great leaders must be able to adapt their style to the needs of the scenario while still being true to their own principles and moral compass.


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