Sample Essay On Research Servant Leadership
Leadership by definition is the ability to get other people to a community to follow you (Kinicki & Williams, 2008). In every leader, they have a vision and the direction they will take up in attaining this goal. Thus, the leader cannot seat on the set vision they take it upon themselves to act on it. Therefore, a successful leader properly communicates the set vision (Kinicki & Williams, 2008) to his or her followers to ensure everyone on board are aware of the direction that is to be taken.
On the other hand, let us look at servant leadership. This philosophy was established in order to develop better organizations around the world. Robert K Greenleaf established this philosophy in the year 1970 (Kessler, 2013). He states that this type of leadership is one that serves other people in a given setting, as compared to the various followers that are serving the leader.
Thus, this enables all the individuals involved, including both the leader and the followers to grow and hence achieve more. It was established in order to enhance the livelihoods of different individuals, as the leader is responsible for each of his or her followers (Kessler, 2013). This model of leadership is able to make each party involved to grow, mature and develop themselves further. Accordingly, this will lead to the development of better servants and leaders in a given community.
Analyzing concept of Servant Leadership
The concept of servant leadership is heavily influenced by religion (Hammer, 2012). In the Christian faith all, the believers referred to as the servants of God, even when an individual is called upon to take up the leadership job in a ministry. In Hinduism, the servant stewardship has also being influenced. The political and additionally the spiritual leader of India was called Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (Hammer, 2012). Gandhi believed in telling the truth and this is the same concept that he passed on to his followers.
He is a good example of servant leadership as he did not try to control his followers (Hammer, 2012). instead he was serving them to show them the power and dignity that they each posses. The same case is also in the Islam religion were prophet Muhammad emphasized that a servant is essentially a leader of a whole nation. Thus serving the people within your community is the main objective.
Servant leadership has 10 characteristics that abet in efficiently being a worth servant leader in the community (Wheeler, 2012). A leader at all times should be able to listen. Listening is the ability to here the views of your followers. It is the ability to know how your followers are doing and how a given situation has affected them. The second characteristic is empathy.
The leader should be able to show empathy towards his or her followers. In the event there is, a group of individuals conflicts are bound to raise due to the different views each individual has. Hence, in such situation the leader should be able to empathize with all parties.
Healing is the third characteristic. This is the period in which individuals will take time of in order to repair themselves. This is a situation that cannot be over looked, hence a leader should be able to identify the good times that are present and offer assistance to when bad times exists. Thus, a leader should be aware; there should be proper and constant communication that is conducted amongst the people. This will not only keep the leader aware but also the followers.
The leader should have an impeccable level of persuasion. This is a very strong quality in a leader. This is because the leader will be able to inspire and persuade his or her followers. They will be able to convince the followers of the vision they foresee for them. Therefore, in this situation, the followers will be able to see the set vision. Additionally and how they can each benefit in accomplishing the set goals. The followers in turn will be able to see the bigger picture, of what the future hold.
Conceptualization is the sixth characteristic that a leader should entail. As the leader has already established the vision, hence there is a goal that’s has been put in place to aid in achieving the vision. Additionally the leader will need the ability to think beyond this reachable goal that he or she has established for the followers. This is due to the various obstacles that they would face along the way of achieving the goal.
Thus, a leader will need the ability of foresight. The leader will need to analyze the obstacle they have encountered and establish an effective decision in aiding the group at large. The ability of a leader to foresight will help greatly in coming to an adequate conclusion that will aid in the achievement of the set vision.
In any given situation, a leader is first a steward, this assists in being a successful leader. This is because a good leader is one that was once a good follower and hence, they were on the ground and know the various challenges. Thus, this will help with the goal of serving others. Commitment to the growth of the followers is the ninth characteristic. The leader hence would need to change for the better, as this will lead to the acceptance of the various changes that the leader hopes to see.
The last essential characteristic is the ability to build a community. The leader has shown the changes within them (Wheeler, 2012), and thereby, they will now need to make the changes in the community. As a result, the leader will need to take up the proper actions that will aid in the healing and building of the community. This can be achieved with the leader being involved and very active in the happenings of the community and show how the community can work together.
Comparison of servant leadership and other models of leadership
Various leadership models have been established over the years. In the business environment, the confidence in leaders has been shaken. This has lead to the increase of developing effective leaders (Dierendonck & Patterson, 2010). Leaders need to focus on serving people and set a side of their interests. The leader in any given organization must be one that is able to generate a high level of trust and additionally upholds the moral principles.
Transactional leadership is one of the models that is applied in various organizations. This type of leadership emphasizes in the transaction that occurs between the followers and the leader, which is mainly based on rewards. In this model, the leader will clearly state the expectations for the followers and the goals that have been set will be closely linked with a reward.
Hence, when we compare this with the servant leadership you are able to identify the difference. To begin with, the servant leadership mainly emphasizes on activities that will aid in the well-being of the followers (Dierendonck & Patterson, 2010). Compared to the transactional leadership, it will only focus on routine activities.
The transactional leader will motivate the employees in attaining the given goal by the use of reward mechanisms. While as the servant, leadership motivates the followers through the development of the individual and personal empowerment. Thus in the transactional leader, they have established strong expectations of the employees and a stipulated guideline on how the employee is to be rewarded.
On the other hand, the transformation leadership is the process in which both the leaders and the followers will be able to raise each other (Dierendonck & Patterson, 2010). Thus, sin the transformation leadership it is able to convert the followers to be leaders and the leaders in turn will be transformed to be moral agents of the society. This is at some level in line with the servant leadership.
Consequently, there is still some level in which the two-leadership style differs. The transformational leadership motivation is directed towards the achievements of the organizational goals, thus revealed in the individual’s capabilities. Therefore and the individual would be termed successful pegged at the level at which they have attained the organizational rewards. On the other hand, servant leadership the motivation is pegged on the follower’s personal growth (Dierendonck & Patterson, 2010). Thus, the more the followers is able to attain self-actualization is how achievements are calculated.
Description of the organization
The organization is in the marketing industry, but it is mainly online based. They deal in the sale of various commodities from fashion to electronic appliances. The organization does not have a large pool of employees with around fifteen employees supporting the business model. The organizations main aim is to ensure they are offering ease to the customer base in purchasing of goods on the online platform. They have tried to establish a very user-friendly interface that can be accessed by customers on the phone or their computers.
This kind of organization is very easy to incorporate the servant leadership, as essentially the followers are not a big number. It is easy to maintain and deviations that may arise in achieving the set goal can be controlled much faster. This kind of business model will be able to aid each of the employees with the support and the tools in order to develop themselves and attain personal empowerment.
Servant leadership within an organization
The incorporation of servant leadership within an organization will aid in various benefits that should be considered. With the servant leadership style incorporated into an organization, it is able to accommodate diversity that exists (McShane & Glinow, 2014). This is due to the diverse cultures that are presented in each organization.
When we compare this leadership style with the autocratic style, it may alienate some individuals. While as the establishment of a democratic leadership will cause some of the views aired by the employees to be lost in the discussion. Thus, the servant leadership style is able to satisfy the needs of all and ensure all the employees have been served.
The needs of each of the employees are put ahead of the needs of the organization as a whole. Most leadership styles put the needs of the organization a head at the expanses of the employees. Thus, the servant leadership is able to establish an environment where the decisions that are made will aid in the betterment of the employees. There is a strong consideration of what the employees need and want. In turn, this will create a sense of loyalty towards the employee and the organization at large.
The productivity of employees within a servant leadership style is much higher as there is a sense of respect and trust that the employees have the leaders. Research shows that moral in the work place is in line the productivity of the employees (McShane & Glinow, 2014). Thus in this situations the employee have a very high level of morale which is reflected in the productivity of the given tasks.
Implementation of Servant leadership
Servant leadership brings about various advantages as discussed above. Thus, this makes it essential to implement within an organization in order to attain success (Selladurai & Carraher, 2014). The first key thing in the implementation is to ensure that the vision has been identified.
A clear vision will need to be established and effectively communicated to the followers or in this case the employees of the organization. With the lack of a proper compelling vision, servant leadership will not be successful (Selladurai & Carraher, 2014). Since, the vision aids in the direction that should be taken. Furthermore, the employees should have a clear understanding of the values, goals that the business upholds.
Additionally the leaders should not have an ego in serving the followers. The only way servant leadership has been successful over the years is because the leaders have been able to serve the followers (Selladurai & Carraher, 2014). With the leaders, serving the followers creates a sense of loyalty to the employees. In addition, brings about various advantages. The leader should not have an attribute of false pride.
Stakeholders who would advocate or support servant stewardship
In any, case the establishment of the servant leadership greatly benefits the employees within the organization. As the organization will work with them and meet their needs (Vecchio, 2007). In this case, the main parties that will support the implementation are the employees and the shareholders. The employees will feel they are being considered in the vision of the organization.
They feel they are part of a community that is also looking for their interests. Thus, they will be loyal to the organization. The shareholders would be in support of the servant leadership as it fosters and environment of motivation (Vecchio, 2007). As we, all know a motivated employee will increase the productivity, hence increase the revenues of the organization.
The stakeholders that would oppose this leadership style is the leaders, this would be the mangers and the supervisors. Over the years, this leadership positions were believed to being served by the followers while as in the servant leadership this is not the case. The leaders will be expected to serve the employees and hence, they will be expected to meet each of their needs. These kinds of leadership will interfere with many egos that leaders have acquired along the way.
Challenges of implementing servant leadership
Incorporating change within an organization can be very difficult. For example changing an organization with the transactional leadership style to servant leadership style may lead to n increase in the number of turnovers the company may experience. This is because it is a new concept that is not understood by many.
In this situation, it is essential if proper research is conducted on how the implementation will take place. Thus, proper research on the views of the employees on changing the leadership style will need to be done. In addition, they will be able to establish the suitable way in which the servant leadership will be incorporated in the daily activities.
Another essential challenge that would be experienced is the work place culture that has been in place for generations. In most work places, a leader is perceived as an alpha in the event the manger will change and start serving the subordinates within the organization will bring about various disparities (Vecchio, 2007). The manager would be perceived to be too soft to be in an authoritative position. Thus, this will be very detrimental when the manager will be deal with various other mangers.
Servant leadership is an essential style that organizations should aim at establishing within the organization (Dierendonck & Patterson, 2010). This is because this type of leadership is able to empower each and every of the followers. Thus, it helps each individual in attaining his or her potential objectives in the career growth.
Dierendonck, D. V., & Patterson, K. (2010). Servant leadership: developments in theory and research. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.
Hammer, D. C. (2012). Servant leadership. [S.l.]: Pacific Creek Books.
Kessler, E. H. (2013). Encyclopedia of management theory. Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE.
Kinicki, A., & Williams, B. K. (2008). Management: a practical introduction. New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.
McShane, S. L., & Glinow, M. A. (2014). Organizational behavior. New York: Mcgraw-Hill/Irwin.
Selladurai, R., & Carraher, S. (2014). Servant leadership: research and practice. Hershey, PA: Business Science Reference.
Vecchio, R. P. (2007). Leadership: understanding the dynamics of power and influence in organizations. Notre Dame, Ind: University of Notre Dame Press.
Wheeler, D. W. (2012). Servant leadership for higher education: principles and practices. San Francisco, California: Jossey-Bass.
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