The type of leadership most noticeable in the service activity was servant leadership. Servant leadership was first introduced in 1970 by Robert K. Greenleaf in the essay “The Servant Leader”. In his essay Greenleaf says “The servant-leader is servant first… It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. That person is sharply different from one who is leader first, perhaps because of the need to assuage an unusual power drive or to acquire material possessions…The leader-first and the servant-first are two extreme types. Between them there are shadings and blends that are part of the infinite variety of human nature.” (Greenleaf, 1970) Greenleaf essentially
Originating in the seminal work of Greenleaf, servant leadership is a paradoxical approach to leadership that challengers our traditional beliefs about leadership and influence. Servant leadership emphasizes that leaders should be attentive to the needs of the followers, empower them, and help them develop their full human capacities. They build strong relationships, with others, are empathic, and ethical, and lead in ways that serve the greater good of followers, organizations, and the community.
The terminology 'Servant Leadership' became popular in a leadership context after Robert Greenleaf's book, Servant Leadership (1977). The concept of 'a leader who serves' has been expressed in many different ways for very much longer.
Different types of leaders have different traits such as a narcissistic leader is egotistical; self-absorbing who basically is only concerned with their wants and needs. Covenant leaders are moral, ethical and humbly put others before themselves. Then there are the servant leaders who believe they are there to provide service to others. Anyone can be a leader, but it is in how they lead which determines the traits they carry and use. Their purpose is to lead successfully so that others may follow in their footsteps.
The basis of the “servant leadership” theory is that in order to be a good leader; one must be a servant, first (Hunter, 1998). Although, the concept of “servant leadership” can be applied to any field, many nurses identify with the “servant leadership” style the most. James C. Hunter’s book, The Servant, portrays a difficult journey of understanding this concept, while also addressing many of the main components of “servant leadership.” In this paper, I will discuss the concept of “servant leadership” and how reading about this concept has helped me reach my goals to become a knowledgeable and professional nurse.
What is servant leadership? Servant leadership is shown when an individual or an organization thrives to support others around them and uses their power to make others stronger.
In Chapter 14 of Ken Blanchard’s Leading at a Higher Level, we learn that servant leaders are a part of a different type of leadership. “Servant leaders want to make a difference in the lives of their people and, in the process, impact the organization” (pg.262). Ken Blanchard also offers several different scenarios of those that can be referred to as a servant leader for example, the DMV manager mentioned on pg.263, although the examples were helpful in understanding this concept I have found that the character of Norma Rae offered the best understanding. Norma Rae was a hardworking, determined, and independent woman. She was a servant leader who put herself aside to help change other people’s life for the better.
“Servant leadership is a philosophy and set of practices that enriches the lives of individuals, builds better organizations and ultimately creates a more just and caring world.” (greenleaf.org)
As discussed earlier history show us servant leadership has been around in religions for quite some time and while servant leadership roughly travels back two thousand years, the modern servant leadership movement was launched by Robert K. Greenleaf in 1970. Greenleaf says a servant leader is concerned with serving followers wellbeing first, opposed to leading first and just focusing on organization. (Patterson, 2010) Servant leadership builds positive relationships with subordinates, empowers them, and helps them succeed. Servant leaders lead with integrality and live ethically, but many cultures have viewed servant leadership as weak and less productive.
Being a servant leader is a concept I explored in a previous class while researching Zappos.com, where they require all their managers to be servant leaders. The idea that a manager’s top priority is to assist their follower in succeeding by supporting and removing obstacles they may encounter is a noble undertaking. The two major responsibilities of leaders are people and production.
Servant leadership can be defined as a, “philosophy and set of practices that enriches the lives of individuals, builds better organizations and ultimately creates a more just and caring world” (What is Servant Leadership). Robert Greenleaf first introduced the idea of servant leadership in 1977 as a way to transform leadership to focus on serving others including employees, customers and the community (Marquis and Huston, 2015). Due to the primary focus of serving others, it comes to no surprise that servant leadership and its supporting characteristics are gaining popularity in the nursing field. Although most sources identify ten characteristics of servant leadership, this paper will focus on listening, empathy and building community (Kumar, 2010).
A servant leader is a person creates caring relationships with each individual within the team, is authentic, open and accountable, listens without imposing judgment, and builds community by showing appreciation. They believe in sharing the power and helping others reach their fullest potential. This type of leader takes into consideration
I agree with what Jeff mentioned in his post that this is a cohesive group. I am extremely interested in factors that result in the elimination of poverty, leadership, and the interdependence between human capital and growth. I read extensively and try to keep up to date with current political and economic affairs in the US and around the globe. In addition, I enjoy watching documentaries and research on certain topics online. My first exposure to leadership in an academic setting was during my MBA as I had two classes on leadership theories and I have fallen in love with the subject of leadership ever since.
The servant-leader is first a servant then a leader. The servant leader is one who has a natural feeling to serve ones community first then with the aspiration to lead in the community. A servant leader is very different from someone who’s first instinct is to lead