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. Servant leadership is actually an ancient practice. They are entirely different from other traditional types of leaders who work and aim to achieve the goal of the company. Servant leaders get results for their organization through whole-hearted attention to their followers and followers’ needs. A servant leader embodies ten common characteristics. Thoughts on servant leadership and further definitions.  In addition, Servant Leadership being the foundation of organizations is said to lead to employees having positive experiences and satisfaction in the work place, which in turn leads to " a transfer of positive experiences from the work role to the family role". 1, 2010, 25-30.  Greenleaf first put his idea of servant leadership to use in an organizational sense while he was working as an executive at AT&T. 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. Marina, B. M., & Fonteneau, D. Y. The leader should be a servant first, leading from a desire to better serve others and not to attain more power. Robert K. Greenleaf first coined the phrase "servant leadership" in his 1970 essay, "The Servant as a Leader." Instead… Servant leadership is a classic concept, but the term was coined in 1970, when Robert K. Greenleaf published his essay, "The Servant as Leader." As defined before, a servant leader's goal is to build upon the skills of their employees and make them better people.  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. However, they serve to communicate the power and promise this concept offers. 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 … 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.. However, its effectiveness in organizations is still being debated. 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. There are a million of these…  The inclusion of spirituality faithfully reflects Greenleaf's (1977) initial, and Graham's (1991) theorizing, that servant leadership relies of spiritual insights and humility as its source of influence. The idea of servant leadership was coined more thoroughly and brought to a modern business world by Robert K. Greenleaf. Empathy.  Moreover, employees feeling that their needs are made a priority in the work place, as well as the feeling of being satisfied with their interactions at work on a daily basis, has an impact on their family's experience with them as they shift from the work role to the family role. 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. The "I serve" mentality is evident in politicians who define their role through public service. , Similar to servant leadership having an effect on employees' stress levels, it also affects them emotionally as well. There are also researchers such as Russell and Stone who reviewed the literature and proposed nine 'functional' attributes of servant leadership (vision, honesty, integrity, trust, service, modeling, pioneering, appreciation of others, and empowerment) and eleven 'accompanying' attributes (communication, credibility, competence, stewardship, visibility, influence, persuasion, listening, encouragement, teaching, and delegation).  As stated by its founder, Robert K. Greenleaf, a Servant Leader should be focused on, "Do those served grow as persons? Similarly, researcher Akuchie explored the religious and spiritual articulations of the servant leadership construct. One major extension was Larry Spear's 10 characteristics of the Servant Leader. 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. James Sipe and Don Frick, in their book The Seven Pillars of Servant Leadership, state that servant-leaders are individuals of character, those who put people first, are skilled communicators, are compassionate collaborators, use foresight, are systems thinkers, and exercise moral authority. , Researchers Farling, Stone, and Winston noted the lack of empirical evidence for servant leadership. Altruism is defined as the belief in or practice of disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others. As one moves up higher into leadership, then there are more people to serve. 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. Greenleaf believed leaders have a social responsibility to care for the disenfranchised and to serve first; he proposes shifting power to those who are being led. 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.  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. This work was exploratory in nature. Unlike many approaches to leadership, which offer suggestions on how top-level leaders can influence and motivate those further down the hierarchy, servant leadership puts its emphasis on collaboration, trust, empathy, and ethics. Servant leadership is often associated with Christian leadership and Christian leaders; however, the model is not limited to the Christian realm. Servant leaders who picked up the broken glass. " 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. 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. It is one of many ways to make an effective leader. 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. "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 researchers developed operational definitions and scales to measure 11 potential characteristics of servant leadership. 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. , Servant leadership predominately draws on two social theories to explain how it influences follower behavior: Social Learning and Social Exchange Theory. A servant leadership puts the follower first in order to assist them in their career growth. His second major essay, "The Institution as Servant," unequivocally reinforced that point.  Further research also confirms that servant leaders lead others to go beyond the call of duty. Therefore, others may perceive leadership dedication to achievement or accomplishment as a threat. (1999). 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". Unlike every other leadership theory servant leadership stresses the importance of empowering followers by relinquishing control (Northouse, 2016). , Greenleaf came to the realization that a newfound leader should be someone that servants or workers can relate to. In other words, this begins with a rooted ambition to be leader or personal ambitions of a leader. , The most important characteristic in being a servant leader, according to Greenleaf, is making one's main priority to serve rather than to lead.  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.. In that same essay, Greenleaf quotes Hillary Clinton's 1969 commencement address.  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.  They also create a psychological ethical climate. 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. 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. However, the modern movement was born in a 1970 essay by Robert K. Greenleaf. Implications For Nurses.  Some employees may have personalities and/or characteristics that may lead to them doing or saying things to their leader that is unacceptable. Servant leadership requires leaders to place the needs of others over their own self-interests. Servant leadership practices appear to have an effect on the life of the employee, outside of the organizations that they are affiliated with. 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. The year 2008 was a significant year in servant leadership research with the publication of two seminal papers by Sen Sendjaya, James C Sarros, and Joseph C Santora as well as Liden, Wayne, Zhao, and Henderson, and the first publications using Ehrhart's (2004) measure. The servant-leader shares power, puts the needs of others first and helps people develop and perform as highly as possible. Bradley, Y. A Servant Leader shares power, puts the needs of the employees first and helps people develop and perform as highly as possible. Behaving Ethically. Despite several conceptual papers on the topic of servant leadership, there is no consensus on empirical research for the servant-leadership construct until a state-of-the-art review published in 2020 by Nathan Eva, Mulyadi Robin, Sen Sendjaya, Dirk van Dierendonck, and Robert C Liden  in the Leadership Quarterly. However, as demonstrated by Eva, Robin, Sendjaya, van Dierendonck, and Liden's review, research has established servant leadership as a valid construct that is worthwhile researching and implementing. Servant leadership predominately draws on two social theories to explain how it influences follower behavior: Social Learning and Social Exchange Theory.  According to Kashyap and Rangnekar, Servant Leadership molds organizations and builds a positive image for the organization. Akuchie suggested that the application of this lesson is for daily life. These ten characteristics are listening, empathy, healing, awareness, persuasion, conceptualization, foresight, stewardship, commitment to the growth of others, and building community. 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.  Overall, employees feeling a sense of support, as well as having a leader who are doing everything in their power to do things that are beneficial for the employees contributes to heightened job performance from the employees. “True leadership must be for the benefit of the followers, not to enrich the leader.” Valid and reliable measurement instruments grounded in theory are essential to move the field of servant leadership forward.  Servant Leadership lessens the feeling of being "drained of inner resources", so employees experience an increase in Work-to-Family positive spillover (WFPS). In fact, we have witnessed an unparalleled explosion of interest and practice of servant-leadership … 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… What Is Servant Leadership?  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. Servant leadership suggests that a leader not rely on their authority to get things done.  Servant Leaders are also seen as good role models in the eyes of their employees. Researcher Polleys distinguished servant leadership from three predominant leadership paradigms: The Trait, Behavioral, and Contingency approaches to leadership. Many of the problems have arisen from poor construct clarity, poor measurement, and poor design.  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. 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 develop with their leader.. The following 12 characteristics of Servant-Leadership have been identified by Larry Spears, CEO of the Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership. 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. Exemplified by Jesus, the term servant-leader was coined by Robert Greenleaf in his 1970 seminal work, The Servant as Leader, in which he fused the two extreme types of ‘the leader-first and the servant-first’. This framework specified the fundamentals to servant leadership and was consistent with Greenleaf's original message. 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. " When leaders shift their mindset and serve first, they benefit as well as their employees in that their employees acquire personal growth, while the organization grows as well due to the employees growing commitment and engagement. Since this leadership style came about, a number of different organizations have adopted this style as their way of leadership. However, it's an approach that people have used for centuries. However, Sendjaya and Sarros research work did not propose a testable framework nor did this work distinguish between this and other leadership styles. , 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. Factor analyses reduced this scale to five unique dimensions: altruistic calling (four items), emotional healing (four items), wisdom (five items), persuasive mapping (five items), and organizational stewardship (five items).  Lastly, Servant Leaders are able to manage the behaviors of their employees by being forgiving. Servant leaders get results for their organization through whole-hearted attention to their followers and followers’ needs. 10 key … Journal of Christian Education, 42(2), 43–54. He views them as being critical to the development of servant-leaders. 1 Iss.  Likewise, Servant Leadership has a direct effect on employer brand perception, which in turn reduces employee job turnover. Servant leadership: A critique of Robert Greenleaf’s concept of leadership. 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. No confirmatory analysis was performed, no criterion was posited to establish validity, and convergent/divergent validity was not established.. In addition to some early definitions and distinct characteristics of Servant Leaders, researchers and leadership experts have used research to add on to these. Leadership experts such as Bolman, Deal, Covey, Fullan, Sergiovanni, and Heifitz also reference these characteristics as essential components of effective leadership.  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. , Various critiques of servant leadership have been made. Servant leadership is a style of leadership that heavily emphasizes the good of workers and subordinates. Servant leadership theory development talks about the concept and the model of this leadership style, however servant leadership measurement tried to … That goes against the thinking that there are more people to serve the leader when they reach an …  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. 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. ", The authors proposed three key elements that captures the essence of servant leadership and set it apart from other leadership styles - namely the motive (the underlying personal motivation for taking up a leadership responsibility, requiring a strong sense of self, character, and psychological maturity), the mode (that they lead by prioritizing subordinates' needs above the organization's bottom line), and the mindset (that servant leaders are stewards who reorient their followers' focus towards others). Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. 5. The power of his foundational idea lies in the title he chose, “The Servant as Leader.”  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". The servant-leader shares power, puts the needs of others first and helps people develop and perform as highly as possible. Akuchie examined a single Bible passage related to servant leadership, just like the one mentioned in the opening of the essay.  When put into practice, Servant Leadership has a positive effect on a sales person's turnover intentions because turnover is mainly associated with "the quality of the salesperson–supervisor relationship. A servant leader actively contributes in the personal development and performance of their team. Further, anecdotal evidence shows that many organizations have implemented Servant Leadership as their main way of managing their organization, and for good reasons too. In that essay, Greenleaf emphasized that the servant leader is first and foremost a servant. Servant-leadership is also an expanding river, and one which carries with it a deep current of meaning and passion. leadership authors and advocates of servant leadership. Greenleaf maintained, "The servant leader is servant first."  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". Our view is that it would be premature to hit the restart button on the field. Numerous research studies have focused on such relationships between theories. Furthermore, People often refer to servant leadership theory as weak because of the involvement of staff in problem-solving. Greenleaf believed the betterment of others to be the true intention of a servant leader: "I serve" in opposition of the traditional "I lead" mentality. 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.  Similarly, Black scholars have pointed out how notions of servants as being subjugated and mistreated is largely absent from servant leadership discourse. The servant leadership concept has been around for a long time. 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. Greenleaf declares that servant leadership begins with the natural feeling of wanting to serve first. Proposed by Robert K. Greenleaf in 1970, the servant leadership theory defines a form of leadership where the leader’s primary role is to be of service to others first. 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. 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. 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