Sunday, April 4, 2010

Servant Leadership

Organizational leaders are often seen as inspirational beings that direct others toward goals and objectives that have been set for them. Research has illustrated that there are many different types of leadership. Some types of leadership rely on rewards and punishments (i.e., transactional) while others rely on position or title (i.e., legitimate). Servant leadership is distinct from all of these forms of leadership in that its sole purpose is to develop and improve the lives of its followers. Servant leaders want to serve others first and are leaders because they have made a conscientious choice to help others through leading.

Greenleaf (1970) states that "The difference manifests itself in the care taken by the servant-first to make sure that other people’s highest priority needs are being served. The best test, and difficult to administer, is: Do those served grow as persons? Do they, while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants? And, what is the effect on the least privileged in society? Will they benefit or at least not be further deprived?"

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