Mother Teresa: An Example of Servant Leadership Essay

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Servant leadership is both a leadership philosophy and set of leadership practices. Traditional leadership generally involves the accumulation and exercise of power by one at the “top of the pyramid.” By comparison, the servant-leader shares power puts the needs of others first and helps people develop and perform as highly as possible (Northouse, 2013). One person I feel is a great example of a servant leader is mother Teresa. Mother Teresa, Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, was born August 26, 1910 in what is today Skopje, Macedonia. At the age of 12, she began showing interest in the life of missionaries and felt that she was being called to a life of serving God. By the time she was 18 she had left home and joined the Sisters of Loreto,…show more content…
In 1939, Sister Teresa took her final vows to the Sisters of Loreto. In 1946, she was suspected of having tuberculosis and was sent to Darjeeling to rest. It was there that Sister Teresa decided she was being called to “serve the poorest of the poor.” Thus, she requested permission to leave the Sisters of Loreto to serve the poor of Calcutta. She was given permission by the pope to leave her order and focus on the poor. Calcutta at the time had a million poor people when she arrived (Chawla, 1992). Servant leader behaviors are conceptualizing, emotional healing, putting followers first, helping followers succeed, behaving ethically, and creating value for the community (PSU Lesson 11, 2103). There was a lot of sickness and suffering when she started so she learned more about how to care for the sick and suffering, she went to Patna, India to receive a few months of medical training from the American Medical Missionaries (Chawla, 1992). Teresa soon began serving the people of Calcutta and doing whatever she could to help others. In 1950, Mother Teresa officially established the Missionaries of Charity with 12 members. A former student from St. Mary’s was the first to join her. She was a young Hindu girl who greatly respected Mother Teresa and her work for the poor (Chawla, 1992). Several other members of the
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