Chapter 10: Servant Leadership
Terms in this set (22)
An approach to leadership that runs counter to common sense.
Leaders influence, and servants follow. How can a person be a leader and a servant at the same time?
• Originated in the writings of Greenleaf (1970, 1972, 1977)
Servant leadership is an approach focusing on leadership from the point of view of the leader and his or her behaviours.
• Leaders should be attentive to the concerns of their followers, empathize with them, and nurture them.
• Put followers first, empower them, and help them develop their full personal capacities.
• Ethical, and lead to serve the greater good of the organization, community, and society at large.
• Robert K. Greenleaf coined the term, servant leadership.
• Intrigued by issues of power and authority, and how individuals in organizations could creatively support each other.
• States that a servant leader has a social responsibility to the less-privileged. - If inequalities and social injustices exist, a servant leader tries to remove them.
Characteristics of a Servant Leader
Spears (2002) identified 10 characteristics in Greenleaf's writings that are central to the development of servant leadership.
Servant leaders communicate by listening first. Through listening, leaders acknowledge the viewpoint of followers and validate these perspectives.
Empathetic servant leaders demonstrate that they truly understand what followers are thinking and feeling. - It is confirming and validating for the follower.
Servant leaders care about the personal well-being of their followers. Greenleaf argues that the process of healing is a two-way street - in helping followers become whole, servant leaders themselves are healed.
Makes a leader acutely attuned and receptive to their physical, social, and political environments. They are able to step aside and view themselves and their own perspectives in the greater context of the situation.
Clear and persistent communication that creates change through the use of gentle nonjudgmental argument.
Equips servant leaders to respond to complex organizational problems in creative ways, enabling them to deal with the intricacies of the organization in relationship to its long-term goals.
An ability to predict what is coming based on what is occurring in the present and what has happened in the past. Leaders should be held accountable for any failures to anticipate what reasonably could be foreseen and to act on that understanding.
Servant leaders accept the responsibility to carefully manage the people and organization they have been given to lead.
9. Commitment to the growth of people
Servant leaders are committed to helping each person in the organization grow personally and professionally. (ie; providing followers with opportunities for career development, helping them develop new work skills, taking a personal interest in their ideas, and involving them in decision making.)
10. Building Community
Servant leaders build community (a collection of individuals who have shared interests and pursuits, and feel a sense of unity and relatedness) to provide a place where people can feel safe and connected with others, but are still allowed to express their own individuality.
Building a Theory about Servant Leadership
• Although novel and paradoxical, the basic ideas and prescriptions of servant leadership resonated with many as an ideal way to run an organization.
Russell and Stone (2002)
developed a practical model of servant leadership that contained 20 attributes - nine functional characteristics (distinctive behaviours observed in the workplace) and eleven accompanying characteristics that augment these behaviours.
created a value-based model of servant leadership that distinguished seven constructs that characterize the virtues and shape the behaviours of servant leaders.
Model of Servant Leadership
Leadership model based on Liden, Wayne, Zhao, and Henderson (2008) and Liden, Panaccio, Hu, and Meuser (in press)
Antecedent (comes before a behavior) Conditions
Context & Culture
Context & Culture: The nature of a given organizational context and culture affects the way servant leadership is carried out.
• 'Caring' is more prevalent in health-care, whereas 'competition' is more prevalent on Wall Street.
• With low power distance, servant leadership may be more common. However, low humane orientation, it may be more of a challenge.
Leader Attributes: Individuals bring their own traits and ideas about leading - ie; moral development, emotional intelligence, self-determination.
Follower Receptivity: Concerns the question, "Do all employees show a desire for servant leadership?". For some followers, servant leadership has a positive impact and, for others, servant leadership is not effective.
Servant Leader Behaviors
Conceptualizing: The servant leader's thorough understanding of the organization. Allows them to think through multifaceted problems, to know if something is going wrong, and to address problems creatively in accordance with the overall goals of the organization.
Emotional Healing: Servant leaders who exhibit emotional healing make themselves available to others, stand by them, and provide them with support.
Putting Followers First: Using actions and words that clearly demonstrate to followers that their concerns are a priority, including placing followers' interested and success ahead of those of the leader.
Helping Followers Grow and Succeed: About aiding individuals to become self-actualized, reaching their fullest human potential.
Behaving Ethically: Holding to strong ethical standards, including being open, honest, and fair with followers. - Doing the right thing in the right way.
Empowering: Refers to allowing followers the freedom to be independent, make decisions on their own, and be self-sufficient.
Creating Value for the Community: Creating value for the community is one way for leaders to link the purposes and goals of an organization with the broader purposes of the community.
Follower Performance and Growth
• Followers will realize their full capabilities when leaders nurture them, help them with their personal goals, and give them control.
• Subordinates became more effective at accomplishing their jobs and fulfilling their job descriptions.
• Servant leadership would create a ripple effect in which servant leaders create more servant leaders.
• Several studies have found a positive relationship between servant leadership and organizational citizenship behaviours (behaviours that go beyond the basic requirements of their duties and help the overall functioning of the organization)
• Servant leadership contributes positively to team potency by enhancing group process and clarity.
• Servant leadership is likely to have a positive impact on society.
• Not commonly measured in studies, but is highly visible in examples.
How Does Servant Leadership Work?
Servant Leadership = behaviours leaders should exhibit to put followers first and to support followers' personal development.
• Leaders commit to putting their subordinates first (being honest, treating them fairly)
• Allows leaders to understand the abilities, needs, and goals of followers
• Subordinates will achieve their full potential
• Results in community and societal change
Works best when...
1. Leaders are altruistic and have a strong motivation and deep-seated interest in helping others.
2. Followers are open and receptive to servant leaders who want to empower them and help them grow.
According to Greenleaf (1970): Leaders should be altruistic and humanistic & leadership should downplay competition and promote egalitarianism.
1. Unique in the way it makes altruism the central component of the leadership process. The only leadership approach that frames the leadership process around the principle of caring for others.
2. Provides a counterintuitive and provocative approach to the use of influence, or power, in leadership. It argues that leaders should not dominate, direct, or control.
3. Does not imply that Servant leadership will work in every context.
4. Research has resulted in a sound measure of servant leadership (Servant Leadership Questionnaire, SLQ)
1. The title "servant leadership" diminishes the potential value of the approach, because it is likely to be perceived as contradictory.
2. Researchers have been unable to reach consensus on a common definition or theoretical framework for the leadership style.
3. The implication regarding servant leadership conflicts with principles of leadership, such as; directing, concern for production, goal setting, and creating a vision.
4. Unclear why "conceptualizing" is included as one of the servant leadership behaviours within the model.
Foresight and conceptualization are two characteristics of the first model of servant leadership.
There is no single accepted definition of servant leadership.
Follower receptivity is an outcome of servant leadership.
According to the Liden et al. (2008) model of servant leadership, behaving ethically and empowering followers are servant leader behaviors that produce desirable leadership outcomes.
Servant leadership stresses the role of personal influence in the leadership process.
What makes servant leadership similar to the skills approach and styles approaches of looking at leadership?
It focuses on leadership from the point of view of the leader.
Servant leadership works best when _____.
Leaders are altruistic and have a strong motivation to help others
Under servant leadership, followers may become servant leaders themselves. This is an example of what?
Follower performance and growth
The concept that servant leaders care about the personal well-being of their followers is best expressed by which characteristic of servant leadership?
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