Servant Leadership: Leading the Way Through Servitude
Servant leadership is having the desire to not only lead, but to do so in an ethical manner. I am aware that this could mean a variety of things for many people, but to me, it means making decisions that will benefit those within the organization as well as the organization as a whole, and putting the wellbeing of the organization and its members before self. It also means taking the necessary measures to ensure proper growth of the organization and its members-whether it is through additional training at the expense of the organization, or simply taking time out of one’s day to ensure that organization members feel worthwhile. Servant leadership has become more attractive in recent years because people are beginning to realize that while an organization can achieve success under a tyrannical leader, this success will be limited and short lived. The most successful organizations are comprised of content members. This can only be achieved through servant leadership.
The primary problem with leadership is that some leaders have shown resistance to encouraging the growth of those around them. The desire for constituents’ success in and outside of the workplace, and longing for them to become competent leaders in society is a prime example of servitude while in a leadership role.
Building Relationships with Constituents
In the stages to becoming a servant leader, one is first dependent, then becomes independent, and then ultimately becomes interdependent with his or her constituents and the organization as the leader strives to support others and the institution. The principle of interdependence is a critical aspect of servant leadership, because without this relationship, success will be stifled. In order to move into the final stage of interdependence, servant leaders must build a rapport, which then leads to building a strong relationship with their constituents, which is mutually beneficial for the company, the leader, and its constituents. In order to achieve this level of success, it is necessary for the leader to show the constituents that they are cared about outside of the success of the organization-as an individual.
Evaluating Servant Leadership
So the question is, “How does one determine success of servant leadership”? Although servant leadership is a foreign management philosophy for some leaders, as desired results are achieved, more and more people have accepted this type of leadership. Content, high-performing employees validate servant leadership. While this unconventional style of leadership is not accepted by everyone, results are measureable, and after continued success, the servant leadership style can become more accepted into ones particular work environment.