Ethical Advantage Of Servant Leadership Essay

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THE ETHICAL ADVANTAGE OF SERVANT LEADERSHIP
By Dr. Kent M. Keith
CEO, Greenleaf Centre for Servant Leadership (Asia)
© Copyright Kent M. Keith 2014
Most of us are shocked when a leader—public, private, or nonprofit—behaves unethically. We should be shocked. The ethical behavior of leaders has a significant impact on the ethical behavior of others in their organizations. Our leaders must set a good example, not a bad one, because the repercussions are significant.
The desire for ethical leaders
People all over the world want their leaders to be ethical. Leadership experts James Kouzes and Barry Posner asked 75,000 people around the world what they look for and admire in a leader. The top-ranked characteristic over a twenty-year period was “honesty.”
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Servant-leaders demonstrate personal morality and integrity, and encourage enhanced moral reasoning among their colleagues.
In addition, the ethical behavior of servant-leaders is embedded in four operating principles that guide them in their daily decision-making. The four principles are:
1. Serve people.
2. Help people grow.
3. Exercise foresight.
4. Care about everyone the organization touches.
These principles are not only ethical, they are also effective, because they support high performance and exceptional organizational results. For servant-leaders, it is not a choice between ethics and success. Servantleaders know that their ethical behavior enhances their organization’s success. Serve people
First, servant-leaders serve people. Serving others is ethical because it is respectful of the needs of others, and is an effort to treat people right by helping to meet their needs. Serving others is also effective. When servantleaders identify and meet the needs of their colleagues, their colleagues can perform at higher levels. When servant-leaders identify and meet the needs
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of their customers, their customers are happy and are likely to come back— and tell their friends.
Grow
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