The army is an institution that has always depended on leadership. Since ancient times, the abilities of a leader were fundamental for the success and ability to win a battle. Moreover, soldiers’ readiness to follow a commander, execute orders, and perform tasks were basic. For this reason, much attention has always been given to the choice of leadership style and the way to use it to attain the desired outcomes. For instance, servant leadership and followership might be viewed as the frameworks that can be used within the given environment as they help to align interaction within groups and attain desired goals.
Servant leadership is one of the models explaining the relations between individuals within a certain collective. This philosophy rests on the idea that most potent leaders focus on serving others, motivating them to evolve and become better, rather than controlling and acquiring more power (Northouse, 2021). As a result, servant leaders are interested in the progress of their subordinates and their ability to achieve their personal and professional goals (Northouse, 2021). For the army, it means that officers should focus on their soldiers’ needs as the guarantee of future success (U.S. Army, 2017). This approach might help to create stronger and more professional troops and succeed in complex conditions because of the increased autonomy of every individual.
Followership is often viewed as the other side of leadership and is critical for building strong groups. It can be defined as a person’s readiness to follow a leader and recognition of his/her responsibility to comply with the orders of a leader (Northouse, 2021). The lack of understanding of the importance of specific tasks and the necessity to accomplish them might deteriorate outcomes and precondition a critical failure (Northouse, 2021). At the same time, followership is directly linked to the style used by a leader and his/her ability to interact with subordinates (Northouse, 2021). In such a way, the combination of these two aspects is critical for any organization.
Speaking about the army, both servant leadership and followership can be viewed as close aspects that are directly correlated. Followers and serval leaders focus on commitment, enthusiasm, motivation, and growth (Northouse, 2021). Moreover, there is also a critical need for trust and respect, which are fundamental for cooperation. At the same time, there is a certain difference in the degree of responsibility and requirements (U.S. Army, 2017). Leaders have to perform more tasks compared to their followers, which might impact relations and results. At the same time, it is vital to state that servant leadership and followership are two components of any army, and it is vital to ensure that the selected style meets the soldiers’ demands and cultivates their readiness to follow commands and respect officers.
Altogether, it is possible to conclude that servant leadership and followership are two fundamental concepts for the army. They guarantee that relations within the groups will be stable and continue to improve. At the same time, servant leaders might help subordinates to evolve and continue their development, which is critical for final results. On the other hand, using the major assumptions of servant leadership, it is possible to cultivate followership and guarantee that all soldiers will respect their commanders, follow their orders, and realize the critical importance of their actions. In such a way, these two frameworks are fundamental for the stable functioning of the army and its readiness to achieve current goals.
Northouse, P. (2021). Leadership: Theory and practice (9th ed.). SAGE Publications.
U.S. Army. (2017). The official US Army leadership handbook. U.S. Army.