In addition to some early definitions and distinct characteristics of Servant Leaders, researchers and leadership experts have used research to add on to these. Servant leadership theory development talks about the concept and the model of this leadership style, however servant leadership measurement tried to … 1, 2010, 25-30. 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. The leader should be a servant first, leading from a desire to better serve others and not to attain more power.  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. These ten characteristics are listening, empathy, healing, awareness, persuasion, conceptualization, foresight, stewardship, commitment to the growth of others, and building community. Thursday, April 1st, 2010 | Comments off | 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. , Before the modern fad for the concept of "leadership" emerged, the autocratic enlightened absolutist King Frederick II ("the Great") of Prussia (r. 1740–1786) famously portrayed himself as "the first servant of the state".. 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. The servant leadership concept has been around for a long time. , Similar to servant leadership having an effect on employees' stress levels, it also affects them emotionally as well. In this essay, Greenleaf explains how and why he came up with the idea of servant leadership, as well as defining a servant leader. They do not choose between opposing values. Servant leadership is based on a simple concept: that as an employee, a worker is present to serve the organization. A servant leader prioritizes the team’s growth and well-being, letting their own needs and ambition take a backseat. Numerous research studies have focused on such relationships between theories. 10 key … Sign up once and get access for life. 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. Here are 10 characteristics and traits that distinguishes a servant leader from the more traditional ones. However, they serve to communicate the power and promise this concept offers. 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. In essence, servant leadership comprises of the following: (1) someone or something other than the leader, (2) one-on-one interactions between leaders and followers, and (3) an overarching concern towards the wellbeing of the wider organizational stakeholders and the larger community. 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. 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. 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. Greenleaf gave this idea an extensive amount of thought before bringing it to life.  Some employees may have personalities and/or characteristics that may lead to them doing or saying things to their leader that is unacceptable. 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.  Likewise, Servant Leadership has a direct effect on employer brand perception, which in turn reduces employee job turnover.  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.  Servant Leadership lessens the feeling of being "drained of inner resources", so employees experience an increase in Work-to-Family positive spillover (WFPS). 1 Iss.  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 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.  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 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. 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.  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". Empathy. 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. 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. Servant leaders get results for their organization through whole-hearted attention to their followers and followers’ needs. Implications For Nurses. Servant leadership: A critique of Robert Greenleaf’s concept of leadership. The servant-leader shares power, puts the needs of others first and helps people develop and perform as highly as possible.  The employees also stay at the organization so that they can see and learn more from their employer. 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. A servant leader actively contributes in the personal development and performance of their team. Furthermore, People often refer to servant leadership theory as weak because of the involvement of staff in problem-solving. Do they, while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants? Servant leadership suggests that a leader not rely on their authority to get things done. 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. Only through the act of serving does the leader lead other people to be what they are capable of. 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.  This decreased emotional exhaustion also leads to stronger marital relationships. 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. Servant leadership is a leadership philosophy in which the main goal of the leader is to serve. Many of the problems have arisen from poor construct clarity, poor measurement, and poor design. 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.  Likewise, Servant Leaders managing the work environment and things such as "rewards, deadlines, work allocation and performance evaluations" have a positive effect on the well being and satisfaction of employees because the practices of a Servant Leader deals with these aspects in a way that benefits the employees in every way possible. Greenleaf maintained, "The servant leader is servant first." 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..  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. ", In Journey to the East, the main character, named Leo, is a servant just like all the others.  This outcome is expected because of the Servant Leader's main concern being the well being of their employees. One theorist, Larry Spears, outlined ten characteristics of servant leaders by analyzing the writings of Greenleaf. A servant leader has the ability to recognize and understand feelings and emotions that are experienced by their team. , Feminist scholars have noted that servant leadership is based on patriarchal approaches to leadership, noting that leadership discourse in general is a attributed with masculinity. 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. 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. The act of leadership is in the context of serving others and to serve others. In her groundbreaking book on quantum sciences and leadership, Rewiring the Corporate Brain (1997), Zohar goes so far as to state that, “Servant-leadership is the essence of quantum thinking and quantum leadership” (p. 146). Akuchie examined a single Bible passage related to servant leadership, just like the one mentioned in the opening of the essay. 5. Valid and reliable measurement instruments grounded in theory are essential to move the field of servant leadership forward. 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. However, its effectiveness in organizations is still being debated. The "I serve" mentality is evident in politicians who define their role through public service. , Greenleaf's definition left much room for speculation because it lacks specifics. Servant Leadership is an interesting theory that focuses on the leaders behaviors (Northouses, 2013). Criticism: It Demotivates. The idea of servant leadership was coined more thoroughly and brought to a modern business world by Robert K. Greenleaf. They argued that this leadership principle was so important to Christianity that it was captured by all four Gospel writers (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John). Polleys's views aligned with transforming leadership but, once again, made no distinctions among Charismatic, Transformational, and Servant Leadership. Servant leaders are a revolutionary bunch–they take the traditional power leadership model and turn it completely upside down.  Studies have also shown that leadership as a whole has an effect on employee's psychological health. His second major essay, "The Institution as Servant," unequivocally reinforced that point. The power of his foundational idea lies in the title he chose, “The Servant as Leader.” According to Northouse (2016), servant leadership is unique in its altruistic nature. While traditional leadership generally involves the accumulation and exercise of power by one at the top of the pyramid, servant leadership is different. " 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. As defined before, a servant leader's goal is to build upon the skills of their employees and make them better people. 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