Emerging as a Servant Leader

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Traditional theories of leadership include the great man, power bases, skills approach, style approach, contingency, and path-goal theories. Those are all very objectively based, not looking at the individual’s experiences, wants, needs, and idiosyncrasies. Then the emerging leadership theories came along, viewing leaders as unique individuals, instead of positions within an organization. These theories are relationship-heavy, focusing on the interactions between the leaders and the followers as something fragile, instead of surface-level. There has been a movement within management and leadership theories over the past century that focuses on the intangibles – trust, loyalty, respect, etc. of leadership. One that is gaining popularity is servant leadership.

The trait approach looks at who the leader is, the skill approach is what the leader can do, and the style approach is why the leader does what he/she does. Servant leadership looks at the leader’s motives. This paper will discuss servant leadership and how it is applicable in today’s society.

Religion and Servant Leadership

According to the emerging theories, leaders are those who work with and for others instead of barterers looking to gain something out of an efficient transaction. Individuals who work unaccompanied are not servant leaders because they do not put others first; they could be power leaders who are focused on gaining power or material possessions, according to servant leadership founder Robert Greenleaf (What is servant leadership?, 2008).

Servant leadership is based on empowerment, service, and synergy. Greenleaf traces servant leadership’s roots to Christianity (Servant leadership: A journey into the nature of legitimate power & greatness, ...

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...asier said than done, anyone can be a servant leader, religious or not, as long as service truly comes before oneself.

Works Cited

Nihilism. (2010). Retrieved October 18, 2010, from

Nihilism. (n.d.). In Encyclopedia. Retrieved Month Day, Year, from Issues & Controversies database

Greenleaf, R. K. (2008). What is servant leadership? Retrieved October 19, 2010, from The robert greenleaf center, inc.:

Greenleaf, R. K. (2002). Servant leadership: A journey into the nature of legitimate power & greatness. New Jersey: Paulist Press.

Kouzes, J. M., & Posner, B. Z. (2007). The leadership challenge. San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Wallace, J. R. (2007). Servant leadership: A worldview perspective. International journal of leadership studies, 114-132.
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