Servant Leadership, found in Chapter Ten of the text Leadership: Theory and Practice, is a paradoxical approach to leadership. It begins with the innate desire to serve first, and then lead through servant hood. Servant Leadership, originating in the early 1970s, is similar to the skills and styles approach, focusing on leadership from the leader’s viewpoint and his behavior under the leadership. Under this style of leadership, the leaders are considerate of the followers needs, empathizing with and having compassion for the followers. A servant leader feels a social responsibility to the less privileged and is concerned with inequality among the followers. Through servant leadership, a servant leader will attempt to correct these social injustices and by enabling and empowering the followers while helping the followers in developing valuable personal skills. Servant leaders are ethical, projecting strong moral behavior towards the followers, taking leadership paths that serve the greater good of an organization, the community and even society as a whole.
There are almost as many definitions of leadership as there are persons who have attempted to define leadership (Stogdill, 1974). Therefore, it is very difficult to understand what leadership actually is. According to John Sculley leadership revolves around vision and ideas and has to do more with inspiring people towards direction and goal. A leader is a person capable of inspiring other people to do things without sitting on top of them with a checklist. Precisely, leadership is a process whereby an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a desired goal (Northouse, 2012). Distinguishing between leaders and non-leaders is hard as there exists no clear understanding of what differentiates leaders from non-leaders. Leadership and authority are constructed socially by superiors and subordinates, followers and peers.
In this paper I will discuss what leadership is. I will give the reader insight on the skills; knowledge, and relationships needed for good leadership. I will also discuss leadership versus management; the differences between leadership and management; the pros and cons of good leadership; types of leadership; and lastly my own life experiences in relation to leadership and becoming a leader. I will be putting the reader in a position to gain the knowledge of what it takes to become a great leader as a manager in Corporate America today.
From corporations to nonprofits and higher education institutions, leaders – the cornerstone and foundation of organizations – are ultimately responsible for its success. Nonetheless, leadership, often described as complex, can mean different things to different people. Given no standard approach to leadership exists, scholars focus on the process of leadership as opposed to the definition (Northouse, 2013). As a process, leadership is not simply possessing formal authority, traits, or attributes. Quite the reverse, leadership is primarily a relationship – engagement and interactive exchange – between leaders and followers (Morrill, 2007; Northouse, 2013). Effective leadership, commonly regarded as both a learned skill and innate ability, is
“Leaders come in every size, shape, and disposition-short, tall, neat, sloppy, young, old, male, and female” (Bennis, 2009, p. 33). Unlike Johnson (2011), Bennis (2009) proposes additional components to leadership. First, there must be a vision. A leader has to have a well-defined direction and purpose. They must understand not only the direction they will take, but also the steps to achieve the stated objectives. The vision must be articulat...
Leadership at times can be a complex topic to delve into and may appear to be a simple and graspable concept for a certain few. Leadership skills are not simply acquired through position, seniority, pay scale, or the amount of titles an individual holds but is a characteristic acquired or is an innate trait for the fortunate few who possess it. Leadership can be misconstrued with management; a manager “manages” the daily operations of a company’s work while a leader envisions, influences, and empowers the individuals around them.
Leaders show up in infinitely varying circumstances and characters. Typically, each individual has a picture of who they see as a perfect leader, but no leader is perfect for everyone. Different circumstances and different people require different character traits and styles for their leaders to be effective. The coach of a high school football team is not going to have the same character traits or leadership style as a kindergarten teacher. Not only is the scope of a leader’s character limited in the minds of individuals, but the circumstances in which a leader is needed, or in which a good leader could be found, is typically a narrow field in the minds of individuals. When good leaders come to mind, they are often pictured as outgoing, authority-demanding,
Servant leadership is a leadership style that is more democratic instead of autocratic. The employees are the center of this model. This leader is one that assesses the employee in the professional and personal growth. Servant leader follow the model established by Robert Greenleaf in 1977. Using Mr. Greenleaf’s ten characteristics, those will show the benefits of this type of leadership for both the company and employees. Does this style really do want is said of it. Yes, based on the research, this style is more beneficial toward the employees making them into employees that are more productive and want to stay with that company. When more companies follow this style, the retention of their employees will be higher as they would have
The basic philosophy of servant leadership can be traced back through centuries. From Greek philosophers like Plato, to religious figures such as Jesus, all have been credited as sources that servant leadership has drawn from. Even Sir Francis Bacon was quoted “Men in great place are thrice servants, servants of the sovereign or state, servants of fame and servants of business.” (valeri) While there are traces of servant leadership all over ancient coulters, Robert K Greenleaf is credited as the first modern philosopher introducing the topic we identify as servant leadership. (valeri) Through Greenleaf’s writings, we now have a clear text that lays the groundwork allowing us to understand what a servant leader is.
Leadership is simply the ability to inspire others to pursue the strategic goals and objectives of the organization, to such an extent that is becomes a mutually shared effort and vision. Hence leadership can be defined as the art of influencing others to enhance the performance and productivity of the individual in the accomplishment of organizational tasks and objectives (Mielach, 2012). This implies that leadership is an ability to step outside the comfort-zone for initiating a revolutionary change process within the organization. Meanwhile, Peter Drucker defined leadership as the art of having followers (Riggio, 2009). Thus leaders are c...
Leadership defined has two fundamental difficulties, firstly, similar to notions such as ‘love’, ‘freedom’ and ‘happiness’, leadership is a complicated idea that has subjective interpretations (Bolden, 2004). Everyone has their own understanding of what leadership is, based on a mixture of personal experiences and learnings.
Due to my past experiences, my personal philosophy of leadership is grounded in servant leadership. Over my six-year career in education, I’ve met some incredibly competent educators. I learned new skills when I had a chance to speak to or observe an educator who brought new and innovative ideas to the classroom. These experiences were rewarding and humbling, and through these experiences, I realized how valuable it is to always surround myself with others who compensate for my shortcomings or inspire me to try something different.
The idea of leadership, and particularly the idea of servant leadership is one that I’ve had vested interest in. Servant leadership is discussed frequently in Christian theology, being held in high regard. It often described in the form of certain morals while in a leadership position. A good definition could be: to take on a servant mindset while a leader. However, my main experience with leadership, and thus this idea, is not with the church but with the boy scouts.
Relocation of a business that has been around for 75 years is very detrimental. It not only effects those that are close to retirement, but those that are proficient at their job duties. The relationships you have built over the years will become strained and fall outs will begin within the company. As a human resource director, there should be methods in place to motivate, encourage, and keep employees from leaving the company. In addition, there must be a communication strategy, question and answers prepared; as well as keep employees focused on their current task before the relocation begins. In this case study, there will be a thorough discussion about leadership theories, importance of positive reinforcement, and leadership styles.
In the Leadership Challenge, 4th edition, it is Kouzes & Posner (2007) intention to present a road map for individuals to follow on their leadership journey. The authors stress that “leadership is not a gene and it’s not an inheritance.” Leadership they assert is “an identifiable set of skills and abilities that are available to all of us” (p. 23). They make clear that the “great person” theory of leadership is “plain wrong.” Leaders are our everyday heroes who do extraordinary things on a regular basis (p. 23).