It is one of many ways to make an effective leader. This is different from traditional leadership where the leader's main focus is the thriving of their company or organizations. A servant leader embodies ten common characteristics. This framework specified the fundamentals to servant leadership and was consistent with Greenleaf's original message. Servant leadership requires leaders to place the needs of others over their own self-interests.  However, studies have shown that Servant Leadership's "bottom-up" style, or prioritizing the needs of the employees first, causes employees to be more engaged in their work in that they feel like they have social support from their leader as well as their colleagues. Servant leadership is a style of leadership that heavily emphasizes the good of workers and subordinates. In other words, this begins with a rooted ambition to be leader or personal ambitions of a leader. These researchers developed operational definitions and scales to measure 11 potential characteristics of servant leadership. ", In Journey to the East, the main character, named Leo, is a servant just like all the others.  Likewise, Servant Leadership has a direct effect on employer brand perception, which in turn reduces employee job turnover.  Some employees may have personalities and/or characteristics that may lead to them doing or saying things to their leader that is unacceptable. According to previous research, servant leadership seems to have an effect on the emotional health of the employees because the servant leaders' reliance on "one-on-one communication to understand the abilities, needs, desires, goals, and potential of those individuals" aids in the employees' ability to express themselves in the work place. The magnum opus of Robert Greenleaf, Servant Leadership is a recent theory of leadership that argues that the most effective leaders are servants of their people. The servant leaders are the philosophical type of leaders, whose main goal as a leader is to serve the mass.  Research has shown that although many organizations are used to the belief that the "top-down" way, or the leader prioritizing themselves and the organizations and then the employees, is the best way to engage employees in their work. Greenleaf believed that organizations — not just individuals — could also be servant leaders. Valid and reliable measurement instruments grounded in theory are essential to move the field of servant leadership forward. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. In turn, this nurturing from their employer leads to them returning this same nurturing towards their co-workers and making the work place a suitable environment for the growth of the employees, as well as the production of good quality work to grow the organization. His book The Servant as Leader was published in 1970 and it still forms the basis of the theory to this day. The following 12 characteristics of Servant-Leadership have been identified by Larry Spears, CEO of the Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership. Servant leadership theory development talks about the concept and the model of this leadership style, however servant leadership measurement tried to … "Leading others to go beyond the call of duty: A dyadic study of servant leadership and psychological ethical climate", "The roots of "servant leadership" management culture date back to Hermann Hesse and a young Hillary Clinton", "Servant Leadership: A systematic review and call for future research", "Defining and Measuring Servant Leadership Behaviour in Organizations", "Do servant-leaders help satisfy follower needs? A servant leader has the ability to recognize and understand feelings and emotions that are experienced by their team. In that same essay, Greenleaf quotes Hillary Clinton's 1969 commencement address.  Leo was seen as a servant, but when the other servants realized that things fell apart without him, he became far more than just a servant to them. Our view is that it would be premature to hit the restart button on the field. According to Ginny Boyum, Greenleaf proposed that servant leaders should serve first, make the needs of others their main priority, and find success and "power" in the growth of others; summarily, "A servant can only become a leader if a leader remains a servant".  Servant leadership represents a model of leadership that is both inspirational and contains moral safeguards, and in their paper, Mulyadi Robin and Sen Sendjaya proposes that servant leadership serves as a holistic paradigm for leadership as not only is it transformative and ethical, but also engages followers in workplace spirituality.. Servant Leadership is an interesting theory that focuses on the leaders behaviors (Northouses, 2013). Hence Greenleaf's idea of what a servant leader should be.  The authors state: The review has demonstrated that the servant leadership field has made progress in the last 20 years, however, the field of servant leadership still has its critics. 1, 2010, 25-30.  Servant leadership inverts the norm, which puts the customer service associates as a main priority. Servant-leadership is also an expanding river, and one which carries with it a deep current of meaning and passion.  Having their employer cater to their needs, in conjunction with supportive co-workers and staff, aids in lowering stress levels, which produces the desire to go home and cater to their family’s needs.  Similarly, Black scholars have pointed out how notions of servants as being subjugated and mistreated is largely absent from servant leadership discourse. 5, 6, 7, "Challenging and Critiquing Notions of Servant Leadership: Lessons from My Mother", "The Positive Relationship between Servant Leadership and Employees' Psychological Health: A Multi-Method Approach", International Journal of Servant-Leadership, Cairnway Center for Servant Leadership Excellence, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Servant_leadership&oldid=994308748, Articles with unsourced statements from September 2019, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 15 December 2020, at 01:47. The servant leadership theory puts an emphasis on facilitating the growth of people around you and serving the needs of others. Servant leadership is actually an ancient practice. , Some argue that servant leadership is still going through the process of being accepted as a leadership theory because of Greenleaf's belief that Servant Leadership is a way of life rather than a systematized technique with a specific outline. For servant leadership research and meta-analyses, we recommend that scholars more heavily psychometrically scrutinize servant leadership by including differing leadership theories, organizational culture, HR practices (e.g. From a managerial perspective, the benefits of servant leadership are many. They do not choose between opposing values. Akuchie suggested that the application of this lesson is for daily life. The leader should be a servant first, leading from a desire to better serve others and not to attain more power. Greenleaf gave this idea an extensive amount of thought before bringing it to life. Among these five dimensions, altruistic calling is most aligned with ethics.  This leads to turnover intention reduction in that the employees "... take pride in what they do and enjoy the company of people they work with". They also argued that the servant leader must be a teacher to develop their followers, and that values and core personal beliefs were the antecedents to servant leadership. One major extension was Larry Spear's 10 characteristics of the Servant Leader. The assumption is that if leaders focus on the needs and desires of followers, followers will reciprocate through increased teamwork, deeper engagement, and better performance.  In simpler terms, servant leaders should seek to be servants first, to care for the needs of all others around them, in order to ensure growth of future leaders. Researchers Barbuto and Wheeler created a dimension called "the natural desire to serve others," by combining the 10 characteristics of Spears. Namely, as there are still lingering questions the conceptual and empirical overlap between servant leadership and transformational, ethical and authentic leadership and there are criticisms about how much the existing research in this field can tell us as it is restricted by its own limitations in research design. Servant leadership stresses the importance of the role a leader plays as the steward of the resources of the group, and teaches leaders to serve others while still achieving the goals set forth by the business. However, Akuchie did not, in any way, clarify servant leadership as distinct from other forms of leadership or articulate a framework for understanding servant leadership. , The most important characteristic in being a servant leader, according to Greenleaf, is making one's main priority to serve rather than to lead. If you want to learn even more about the future of remote work and how to lead your team from wherever you are, check out my new book Leading From Anywhere at the links below. Servant leadership is one of the more popular theories of leadership, especially among Christian leaders who vigorously cite Jesus as the penultimate example of servant leadership. Servant leadership is based on the idea that authority is more important than power, and that focus on empowering and uplifting others instead of personal gain is critical to everyone’s success. What Is Servant Leadership? This work was exploratory in nature. They are entirely different from other traditional types of leaders who work and aim to achieve the goal of the company. The servant-leader shares power, puts the needs of others first and helps people develop and perform as highly as possible. Unlike every other leadership theory servant leadership stresses the importance of empowering followers by relinquishing control (Northouse, 2016). Servant leadership suggests that a leader not rely on their authority to get things done. Many of the problems have arisen from poor construct clarity, poor measurement, and poor design. Servant leadership practices appear to have an effect on the life of the employee, outside of the organizations that they are affiliated with. In any case, Servant leadership theory has a place within the spectrum of leadership theory, as it represents the strongest emphasis on followers of any theory. A servant leadership puts the follower first in order to assist them in their career growth.  Researcher Patterson also developed a more spiritual conceptualization of servant leadership around leader values including: agapé love, humility, altruism, creating 21 visions for followers, being trusting, serving, and empowering their followers. Journal of Christian Education, 42(2), 43–54. These are by no means exhaustive. In servant leadership literature, the use of Social Learning Theory argues that servant leaders are influencing their followers, as their followers observe and emulate the leader’s positive behaviors. Altruism is defined as the belief in or practice of disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others. Robert K. Greenleaf first coined the phrase "servant leadership" in his 1970 essay, "The Servant as a Leader." , Similar to servant leadership having an effect on employees' stress levels, it also affects them emotionally as well. However, this conceptualization made by these researchers did not differ from leadership theories such as transformational leadership. Servant leaders who picked up the broken glass. A servant leader prioritizes the team’s growth and well-being, letting their own needs and ambition take a backseat.  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