Both servant leadership and authentic leadership possess some similar contexts. Both of them are similar in the desire to serve and the willingness to listen. They also emphasize that the experiences of some environments could influence the leadership process. However, they have different perspectives and purposes for these contexts (Northouse, 2013).
Desire to serve
As its name, the servant leadership is about the leaders who want to serve. Servant leaders are altruistic and very selfless people, who always attempt to help others and serve them. These leaders always put others first before themselves. They never wish anything but the good for a community. Sometimes, servant leaders are not the kind of traditional leaders who have authoritative position, but their ability to inspire people with their altruistic may lead people to perceive them as leaders. For the servant leaders who are in the leaders’ position, they will always want to serve their subordinates and would do everything for subordinates goods and improvements (Northouse, 2013).
The authentic leadership emphasizes the authenticity of leaders and their leadership (Northouse, 2013, p. 253). The Bill George’s authentic leadership approach mentioned that “authentic leaders have a genuine desire to serve others; they know themselves, and they feel free to lead from their core values” (Northouse, 2013, p. 258). It suggests that authentic leaders have the same desire to serve others as servant leaders do. Nevertheless, the authentic leaders do not necessarily altruistic and/or very selfless people. They perceive it as part of leaders’ duty. These leaders are the kind of traditional leaders who have an authoritative position as leaders. They have a deep sense of willingness to help their subordinates, but not necessarily put the subordinates over themselves. These leaders will help the subordinates in their capacity as leaders.
Spears (2002) identified listening as the first characteristics of the ten characteristics of the servant leaders. Servant leaders communicate by listening first. Through listening, they recognize the followers’ point of view and ratify their perspectives (Northouse, 2013, p. 221). It indicates that these leaders make listening to their followers’ concerns as their priorities. They make sure they would listen and consider all perspectives.
Meanwhile, according to the...