23 January 2016
Servant leadership is a vital concept for organizational success. It differentiates itself as a leadership philosophy by declaring that the primary role of a leader is that he or she exists to serve the interests of others. The contrast here is that a hierarchical leadership principle portrays the sense of the leader as an authoritative figure commanding others. Servant leadership builds itself on the platform that the authority of a leader is directed to the development and welfare of others. Interestingly enough, the concept of servant leadership has existed for a very long time and reveals itself in the earliest days of our documented writings. As Berger (2014) cites, servant leadership is now one of the prominent leadership theories with the capacity to foster a positive organizational culture. The author cites additional evidence indicating that servant leadership could be a solution to the lack of organizational ethics as well as a way to increase employee engagement. Servant leadership has emerged from decades of research with a proven capacity for a significant impact on organizations, people and society (Berger, 2014).
Organizations continue to struggle with talent management issues and must create the context by which leaders allow talented people to flourish (Harvard Business Review, 2008). Servant leadership allows the leader to manage the role in a way that elevates the success of the group above his or her own interests. A serving attitude verses a deserving attitude is an important mindset that organizations should seek to identify in individuals before placing them in a leadership role. Avoiding those who harbor a selfish mental focus is even more important considering that Hicks & McCracken (2013) illustrate that it is necessary to eliminate mental habits that lead to unhelpful emotions. These unhelpful emotions often serve as the basis for de-motivating behavior.
What type of leader have you resolved to be? One who relishes on the use of authority or one who is humbled by the privilege to serve. How will other people describe you? Leadership is not a title but a behavior. No matter what your role is in any organization, structure, family or team, you have the opportunity to serve as a leader. With this comes the decision to determine the style of leadership with which you will want to be associated. Ultimately, all of us leave an imprint in the areas in which we are allowed to spend time. Will your imprint be authoritative or servant oriented?
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