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Authentic and Servant Leadership

Compare and contrast the theories of authentic leadership and servant leadership. After examining the findings within the journal article reading, how may authentic leadership bring about true and lasting performance by followers? How may elements of servant leadership also generate better follower performance?

Journal Article:
Gardner, WL et al (2005) "'Can you see the real me?" A self-based model of authentic leader and follower development. The Leadership Quarterly 16: 343-372.

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Gardner, Avolio, Luthans, May and Walumbwa (2005) discuss an unassuming leader they call authentic; exemplified by high ethics, honesty, accountability and transparency. A key component in this theory of leadership is the authentic leader's ability to lead the follower to authentic behavior. A key component of this theory seems to be the leader accepting or "owning" their thoughts, emotions, etc., and acting in accordance to these values, thoughts, and emotions (Gardner et al., 2005). Thus, the authentic leader must be self-aware and self-accepting in order to act in accordance with their "authentic" self. This type of leader is authentic with followers, peers, etc. The leader is trustworthy, empowers followers, and influences followers to seek "worthy" goals (Gardner et al., 2005). I notice that one of the authors of this study is Bruce Avolio who has worked with Bernard Bass on research into transformational leadership. Much of this theory seems similar to transformational leadership, focusing on follower empowerment and connecting the follower to higher level meaning in work activities.

Servant leadership is a theory of leadership proposed by Robert Greenleaf. According to this style of leadership, leaders must be servants before they become leaders (Greenleaf, 2002). Following this theory, service to followers is the chief role of leadership. Further, servant leaders must be socially and ethically ...

Solution Summary

This solution briefly discusses the concepts of authentic and servant leadership.