Servant Leadership

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Servant Leadership Human Resource Management, Spring 2010 Introduction In the first major paper on stakeholder theory, Edward Freeman and David Reed state that a stakeholder is "Any identifiable group or individual on which the organization is dependent for its continued survival." (Freeman and Reed 89) Given that these groups' input are all vital part of an organization's success, creating solutions that benefit all stakeholders is important for long term success. Solutions that conflict with the interest of one of the stakeholders, could result in that stakeholder withdrawing the support that the organization needs to survive. When leaders of an organizations are servants first, when they "make sure that other people’s highest priority needs are being served" (Greenleaf , “The Servant as leader” 3), then the organization's stakeholders will be invested in the organization's continued success and as a result will be more likely to lend it their support. Servant Leadership Theory After reading Journey to the East Robert Greenleaf was struck by how one of the major character’s a man named Leo, functioned in the book both as a servant and a leader (2). Leo was a servant by nature, and by excelling in this role, became a leader (2). Out of the reading emerged an idea for Greenleaf, that the most effective leaders are those that enable others and help them grow (6). Greenleaf felt that in the future organizations would only succeed if they focused on nurturing their people, and growing them, which is why servant leadership would be increasingly important (3). There are 11 major traits of a servant-leadership: The leader has a calling, has empathy, listens, works to heal, is aware, is persuasive, nurtures an ... ... middle of paper ... ...ders are largely concerned with company direction and sustainable profits (Kenneth). With support from all the stakeholders, the company will have a solid base. The happy employees should contribute to a concentration of skills and low replacement costs. Finally, the focus on growth and foresight should help the company grow to be even more successful in the future. Communities Communities benefit from servant leadership in two main ways. First, servant leadership promotes community, and actively tries to improve the community in which it operates (The power of servant leadership, 9). Secondly, servant leadership focuses on growing people within the organization, and since those members of the organization are members of the larger community benefits indirectly as well. By focusing on servant leadership, a company can meet the needs of all stakeholders.
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