Servant leadership practices appear to have an effect on the life of the employee, outside of the organizations that they are affiliated with. This work was exploratory in nature. In that essay, Greenleaf emphasized that the servant leader is first and foremost a servant. (1999). Therefore, others may perceive leadership dedication to achievement or accomplishment as a threat. In short, servant leadership principles emphasize facilitation and helping employees grow and harness their maximum potential, empowering both individual team members and the company to be successful. It has been concluded that employee perceptions of servant leadership practices and the support of employers and co-workers has a positive effect on an employee's family life. Greenleaf was inspired by the menial servant Leo in Herman Hesse’s novel, The Journey to the East, who contrarily insists that ‘he who wishes to live long must serve, but he who wishes to rule does not live long.’ Servant-leaders are cross-boundary in their DNA. Implications For Nurses. Numerous different researchers and leadership experts have created scales and dimensions to differentiate between the levels of Servant Leadership practices as well as evaluate Servant Leadership behaviors. Many of the problems have arisen from poor construct clarity, poor measurement, and poor design. Servant leadership is a leadership philosophy in which an individual interacts with others—either in a management or fellow employee capacity—with the aim of … The following 12 characteristics of Servant-Leadership have been identified by Larry Spears, CEO of the Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership. [31] Some employees may have personalities and/or characteristics that may lead to them doing or saying things to their leader that is unacceptable. By the same token, by not having any specific policy implications, servant leadership theory does not expressly reject the transformational, situational or results-focused ideas of leadership. The researchers argued that servant leaders have a particular view of themselves as stewards who are entrusted to develop and empower followers to reach their fullest potential. [28] 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. [1] Likewise, Servant Leadership has a direct effect on employer brand perception, which in turn reduces employee job turnover. Thursday, April 1st, 2010 | Comments off | Greenleaf declares that servant leadership begins with the natural feeling of wanting to serve first. Behaving Ethically. 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. [4] By doing this, Servant Leaders create a safe space where employees are able to be themselves and express how they are feeling, knowing that they can trust their leader to be non judgmental. In contrast, Social Exchange Theory is used to argue that a servant leader's followers are exhibiting positive behaviors due to the reciprocal relationship they develo… [1] Servant Leadership being practiced is said to decrease emotional exhaustion, which is the leading cause of employee burnout. Servant leadership suggests that a leader not rely on their authority to get things done. In other words, this begins with a rooted ambition to be leader or personal ambitions of a leader. [23] Black scholars also note that although Greenleaf attributes his ideas to Herman Hesse, Martin Luther King Jr. preached similar approaches and was a contemporary of Greenleaf in the United States, but King is never mentioned in any of Greenleaf's original works. They do not choose between opposing values. 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. [3] 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. Many researchers and theorists argue that servant leaders can become so focused on the needs of their followers that the needs of the organization suffer as a result. However, the modern movement was born in a 1970 essay by Robert K. Greenleaf. The servant leadership concept has been around for a long time. Eventually, the served are driven to possess the traits of a servant leader as well, continuing the spread of the leadership style.[3]. Empathy. A servant leader prioritizes the team’s growth and well-being, letting their own needs and ambition take a backseat. A servant leader embodies ten common characteristics. In his 1970 essay “The Servant as a Leader,” he described servant leadership like this: “The servant-leader is servant first… It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first.” Servant leadership flips the typical leadership script by putting people ahead of power. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Similar to other leadership experts, Spears believed that Servant Leaders should have these 10 traits: empathy, listening, healing, awareness, persuasion, conceptualization, foresight, stewardship, commitment to the growth of people, and building community. The act of leadership is in the context of serving others and to serve others. 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. [2] 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. While organizations thrive based on the work produced by the employees, the commitment of the employees to the organization is a major contributor to how well an organization functions. 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. Here are 10 characteristics and traits that distinguishes a servant leader from the more traditional ones. [citation needed] Larry Spears, CEO of the Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership, stated in an interview: "Greenleaf credited his reading of Hesse's 1932 book, Journey to the East, as the personal source of inspiration in his coining the term, 'servant-leader' in his 1970 essay, The Servant as Leader. 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. Sign up once and get access for life. Further, anecdotal evidence shows that many organizations have implemented Servant Leadership as their main way of managing their organization, and for good reasons too. Numerous research studies have focused on such relationships between theories. Altruism is defined as the belief in or practice of disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others. A servant-leader focuses primarily on the growth and well-being of people and the communities to which they belong. 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"[30] aids in the employees' ability to express themselves in the work place. The researchers presented servant leadership as a hierarchical model in a cyclical process. However, they serve to communicate the power and promise this concept offers. These traits indicate one is a servant leader because, overall, they are causing the ones they serve to become healthier and wiser, guiding others toward self-improvement. A Servant Leader shares power, puts the needs of the employees first and helps people develop and perform as highly as possible. While traditional leadership generally involves the accumulation and exercise of power by one at the top of the pyramid, servant leadership is different. [27][26][29][28], Similar to servant leadership having an effect on employees' stress levels, it also affects them emotionally as well. The second premise of servant leadership is "I am the leader because I serve". [3] 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. Valid and reliable measurement instruments grounded in theory are essential to move the field of servant leadership forward. Robert K. Greenleaf first coined the phrase "servant leadership" in his 1970 essay, "The Servant as a Leader." Servant leadership: A critique of Robert Greenleaf’s concept of leadership. [2] Because of this, employees begin to act as Servant Leaders themselves, and portray great commitment to the organizations where they see these behaviors and how they affect others around them. There are a million of these… From the "I serve" mentality come two premises: The first premise signifies the act of altruism. interesting to consider servant leadership in comparison with other, more established, leadership models. [27] This outcome is expected because of the Servant Leader's main concern being the well being of their employees. "[7], In Journey to the East, the main character, named Leo, is a servant just like all the others. These ten characteristics are listening, empathy, healing, awareness, persuasion, conceptualization, foresight, stewardship, commitment to the growth of others, and building community. One theorist, Larry Spears, outlined ten characteristics of servant leaders by analyzing the writings of Greenleaf. [32] Although Servant Leadership was proposed many years ago, it is still considered a "newer" theory among many other theories because of the switch in focus from the traditional leadership theories.[33]. Journal of Christian Education, 42(2), 43–54. "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? These are by no means exhaustive. When the servants realize that things aren't the same without Leo, they came to the realization that Leo was far more than a servant — he was actually their leader. As in all theories of exemplary leadership, servant leaders grow the leadership capacity of followers – leaving them better off and better able to lead in the future. 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. The "I serve" mentality is evident in politicians who define their role through public service. (2012). SHARE: 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. A servant leader actively contributes in the personal development and performance of their team. [1] Further research also confirms that servant leaders lead others to go beyond the call of duty. [2] According to Kashyap and Rangnekar, Servant Leadership molds organizations and builds a positive image for the organization. Furthermore, People often refer to servant leadership theory as weak because of the involvement of staff in problem-solving. “True leadership must be for the benefit of the followers, not to enrich the leader.” The Journal of Virtues & Leadership, Vol. [14], In their review of the servant leadership literature, Eva, Robin, Sendjaya, van Dierendonk and Liden argued that for research, servant leadership should be defined as "an (1) other-oriented approach to leadership (2) manifested through one-on-one prioritizing of follower individual needs and interests, (3) and outward reorienting of their concern for self towards concern for others within the organization and the larger community. 1. [2] 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". The servant leaders are the philosophical type of leaders, whose main goal as a leader is to serve the mass. In addition to some early definitions and distinct characteristics of Servant Leaders, researchers and leadership experts have used research to add on to these. A servant leader has the ability to recognize and understand feelings and emotions that are experienced by their team. [31], 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. Bradley, Y. [14] 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. The servant leadership theory puts an emphasis on facilitating the growth of people around you and serving the needs of others. Servant-leadership is also an expanding river, and one which carries with it a deep current of meaning and passion. [1] Servant leadership inverts the norm, which puts the customer service associates as a main priority. Do they, while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants? Researchers Barbuto and Wheeler created a dimension called "the natural desire to serve others," by combining the 10 characteristics of Spears. [8][9], Greenleaf came to the realization that a newfound leader should be someone that servants or workers can relate to. However, Sendjaya and Sarros research work did not propose a testable framework nor did this work distinguish between this and other leadership styles. His second major essay, "The Institution as Servant," unequivocally reinforced that point. Thoughts on servant leadership and further definitions. Akuchie suggested that the application of this lesson is for daily life. [14], Greenleaf's definition left much room for speculation because it lacks specifics. The leader should be a servant first, leading from a desire to better serve others and not to attain more power. An organizational justice perspective", "Regulatory focus as a mediator of the influence of initiating structure and servant leadership on employee behavior", "Development of the School Principals' Servant Leadership Behaviors Scale and Evaluation of Servant Leadership Behaviors According to Teachers' Views", "Looking Back to Look Forward: Lessons for Leadership Development", Servant Leadership in the Workplace: A Brief Introduction (Atlanta: Cairnway, 2017), chs. [12][13], The most important characteristic in being a servant leader, according to Greenleaf, is making one's main priority to serve rather than to lead. [28] Thus, studies have shown that Servant Leadership has a positive effect on employee's psychological health in that the less strain on the employee and the more they assimilate at the organization, the better their psychological health. This idea completely transformed management theory in the 1970s whereby roles that rely on authority and control are referred to as management and roles that rely on influencing are referred to as leadership. According to a 2002 study done by Sen Sendjaya and James C Sarros, servant leadership is being practiced in some of the top-ranking companies, and these companies are highly ranked because of their leadership style and following. [26] Studies have also shown that leadership as a whole has an effect on employee's psychological health. 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. Common … [2] Servant Leaders are also seen as good role models in the eyes of their employees. Similarly, researcher Akuchie explored the religious and spiritual articulations of the servant leadership construct. His book The Servant as Leader was published in 1970 and it still forms the basis of the theory to this day. Robert K. Greenleaf first popularized the phrase "servant leadership" in "The Servant as Leader", an essay published in 1970. Likewise, Joe Iarocci, author of Servant Leadership in the Workplace, identifies three key priorities (developing people, building a trusting team, achieving results), three key principles (serve first, persuasion, empowerment) and three key practices (listening, delegating, connecting followers to mission) that distinguish servant leadership in the workplace context.[17]. Sendjaya, Eva, Butar-Butar, Robin and Castles' (2019) [18] 6-item composite of the Servant Leadership Behavior Scale (SLBS-6) which uniquely contributes a spiritual dimension, a distinguishing feature that makes servant leadership a truly holistic leadership approach relative to other positive leadership approaches. Greenleaf first presented the theory in a 1970 essay, “The Servant as Leader.” However, numerous others theorists have contributed to our understanding of servant leadership. A servant leadership puts the follower first in order to assist them in their career growth. leadership authors and advocates of servant leadership. In that same essay, Greenleaf quotes Hillary Clinton's 1969 commencement address. We value your privacy and will never share your email with anyone else. [31] Acceptance in this case is the leader being okay with having different personalities, personal views, and values as their employees, and understanding that their employees aren't "perfect". Servant Leadership is an interesting theory that focuses on the leaders behaviors (Northouses, 2013). [27] With this trait, studies have shown that servant leaders have the ability to influence their employees to achieve their own goals as well as their work goals due to their leaders empowerment, and this plays a major role in their continued success and growth. "[1] Due to servant leaders making their employees their main priority and placing their well-being above everything else, including the organization, the employees feel a sense of trust and a need to return the commitment and obligation that their employer has for them to the organization. The servant leadership theory is focused on the idea that at the top of the hierarchy or system are the employees, and that a manager or leader’s top priority is to serve them. [2] The employees also stay at the organization so that they can see and learn more from their employer. 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. We hope by heeding the advice offered in this review to resolve these problems, the servant leadership research can move forward and continue to offer significant insights to the leadership field over the next 20 years. The idea of servant leadership was coined more thoroughly and brought to a modern business world by Robert K. Greenleaf. However, its effectiveness in organizations is still being debated. Unlike every other leadership theory servant leadership stresses the importance of empowering followers by relinquishing control (Northouse, 2016). Servant leadership predominately draws on two social theories to explain how it influences follower behavior: Social Learning and Social Exchange Theory. [20] In one such critique, Sendjaya and Sarros used the same Bible account as Akuchie, and made the claim that Jesus Christ, not Greenleaf, introduced the notion of servant leadership to everyday human endeavor. [10], Various critiques of servant leadership have been made. [31] They also create a psychological ethical climate. Greenleaf believed that organizations — not just individuals — could also be servant leaders. Servant leadership is a leadership philosophy in which the main goal of the leader is to serve. The power of his foundational idea lies in the title he chose, “The Servant as Leader.” However, Servant Leaders being forgiving, and more importantly understanding, their employees are able to learn from their mistakes, hence their personal growth and changed behavior within the organization. The data collection method for this study consisted of narrative analysis of the 10 interviews utilizing Robert Greenleaf’s servant leadership theory, which highlights the leader’s desire to serve others first and foremost. Polleys's views aligned with transforming leadership but, once again, made no distinctions among Charismatic, Transformational, and Servant Leadership. The servant-leader shares power, puts the needs of others first and helps people develop and perform as highly as possible. It is merely an adjunct to these theories, and is mostly useful for deciding on whether or not somebody should become a leader in the first place. Journal of Pan African Studies, 5(2), 67–83. 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