Servant-leadership principle is associate institutional philosophy, model and set of practices that enriches the lives of people, builds higher organizations and ultimately creates an additional simply caring world. It crosses all boundaries and is being applied by many people.
The words servant and leader are sometimes thought of as being opposites. once two opposites are brought along in a very artistic and purposeful manner, a contradiction emerges. And so, the words servant and leader are brought along to make the incomprehensible idea of servant-leadership.
The originator of the theory, Robert K. Greenleaf, got his idea of the servant as leader partially from his half century of expertise working to shape large institutions. However, the event that crystallized Greenleaf’s thinking came in the 1960s, when he came across and read Hermann Hesse’s short novel ‘Journey to the East’—an account of a legendary journey by a group of people on a religious quest. After reading this story, Greenleaf concluded that the central meaning of it was that the great leader is first experienced as a servant to others, and that this simple fact is central to his or her greatness. True leadership emerges from those whose primary motivation could be a deep want to assist others. The phrase “servant leadership” was coined by Robert K. Greenleaf in ‘The Servant as Leader’, an essay that he 1st published in 1970.
The servant-leader is servant first. It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. The best test 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? (Greenleaf, 1977/2002, p. 27)
For some people, the word servant could prompt an initial negative connotation because of the oppression that several people, most especially women and people of colour – have traditionally/historically endured. For some others, the word leader may carry with it an excellent deal of unfavourable historical baggage.
However, upon nearer analysis, several returns to understand the inherent non-secular nature of what Greenleaf meant by the pairing of servant and leader. The surprising contradiction of the term servant-leadership serves to prompt new insights.
Although he was very much aware of the negative historical connotations related to the word ‘servant’, he felt it a necessary option to flip established conceptions regarding the structure pyramid on their head, and jump-start insight into a brand-new perception of leadership Greenleaf however asks us to reconsider the very nature of leadership.
In his works, Greenleaf discusses the requirement for a more robust approach to leadership, one that puts serving others; including staff, customers, and community—as the priority. Servant leadership emphasizes augmented service to others, a holistic approach to work, promoting communal sensitivity, and the sharing of power in ultimate decision making. In accordance to his work, servant-leader focuses totally on the expansion and well-being of individuals and the communities that they belong.
Servant-leadership recommends a group-oriented approach to analysis and decision making as a way of strengthening institutions and ameliorating the society. It additionally emphasizes the ability of persuasion and seeking consensus, over the old top-down style of leadership. Some people have likened this to turning the hierarchical pyramid the wrong way up. Servant-leadership holds that the main purpose of a business ought to be to make a positive impact on its workers and community, instead of exploitation and profit being the sole motive.
While ancient leadership typically involves the build-up and exercise of power by one at the “top of the pyramid,” servant leadership is completely different. The servant-leader shares power, puts the wants of others first and helps individuals develop and perform as extremely as possible. Robert Greenleaf recognized that organizations together with individuals could be servant-leaders. Indeed, he held a strong believe that servant-leader organizations have a greater ability to change the world. He said that ‘the servant-leader is servant first.’ Which means; the desire to serve. The ‘servant’s heart,’ is a peculiar characteristic of a servant-leader. it’s not regarding being servile, it is about desiring and wanting to help others. It is regarding the identification and meeting the wants of colleagues, customers, and communities.
Considering the biblical concept of Christian leadership, it is meant to be completely different from other forms of autocratic leadership. This is because, Christian leaders are called to be servants. This distinctive mandate of Christian leaders succinctly was clearly stated when Jesus said to his disciples;
‘’You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many (Matt.20:25-27).’’
The Practical example of what it means to serve others was given by Jesus in John 13:1-17. The full examination of this passage reveals that, Jesus’ basic inspiration was love for his followers (v. 1). His leadership model turns the world’s view of leadership on its head. He chose not to lead by power despite possessing the ultimate power and authority, he however demonstrated the kingdom values by applying towel, as a servant. Jesus assumes the responsibility of a house-servant by washing the feet of his followers. These are practical sensible values that help to inspire those who are led, in church or organization, to realise their full potential for the Kingdom of God.
Despite Jesus being fully aware of his position as a leader (v. 14), and the disciples having had an initially experience with Him as a master, strong and extremely powerful leader on many occasions; Jesus willingly and voluntarily becomes a servant to his followers (v. 5-12). His primary purpose was not to be a foot-washer, but he was ready to do this service for his followers if needed, so as to set a very good example for them to follow (v. 14-15).
Jesus’ leadership with a towel is a fundamental approach to leadership with its origin in the kingdom of God and not just a simple concept of the 1960s. Just as it is in our time, it was an uncommon trait in Jesus’ time as well. It is a model for Christian leadership today in the Church or other organisations. It is a practical demonstration of serving others unselfishly while influencing and empowering them to grow in a Christ-directed and purposeful direction.
Therefore, what was typically true of the ancient world remains evident in the contemporary western world. Being a leader in the church, or in the home for a husband, is never a force of personality, (even though parental authority has been diminished and somewhat undermined by the power of the state; good parents still exercise the leading of the family by making some major decisions, determining the acceptable morals and spiritual framework, and when necessary, exercising discipline.), but earning that respect because you love and care (1 Kings 3:9; Luke 22:25-28; Matthew 25:21; Mark 9:33-37; John 5:19; Philippians 1:1; 1 Timothy 3:1-5; 2 Timothy 2:24; Hebrews 13:17). The Husband/fathers know what it was to undertake menial tasks, without detriment to their position as a leader despite being the figures of authority that the family looked to, not only for decision making or direction but for necessary support, encouragement, practical service and support. The resolution of the tension between leadership and servanthood can therefore be vividly found when we place the ideology back into the New Testament social world and understand the nature of being a father.
Rick’s 2003, outlined the framework on how we can lead as Christians in such an acceptable manner that Jesus taught and demonstrated. According to him, Jesus’ instruction to his disciples to “do as I have done for you” is a typical principle of servant leadership.
In his writing, he stated that;
· washing the feet of those I lead signifies the believe that I have in them to empower them with the authority and the required resources and the information as well the accountability they need to be the best they will be,
· Washing the feet of those I lead is an avenue of creating an environment safe enough for them never to compromise but to continue to risk giving all even if they sometimes fail.
· Washing the feet of those I lead means that the good ideas doesn’t necessarily have to come solely from a single source, but we all work hand in hand to discover the vision together.
· Washing the feet of the people I lead means an avenue to be able to freely hear the truth, especially about myself.
· Washing the feet of people, I lead is a way of allowing people to freely express their passion.
· Washing the feet of people, I lead means the ability to defend those who do not compromise principle for profit both privately and publicly.
· Washing the feet of those I lead means seeing and treating each person with the divine understanding that they are uniquely created in the image of their Creator, not in mine.
· Washing the feet of those I lead means allowing them to make decisions, pursue their dreams and celebrate their accomplishments.
· Washing their feet means serving them so that they can serve others.
Servant Leadership thus entails efforts at exercising real, godly leadership. This was once demonstrated by Jesus Christ when He gave his own life as sacrifice to service under the will of God (Luke 22:42), and he sacrificed his life freely out of service for others (John 10:30). He came to serve (Matthew 20:28) though he was God’s son and more powerful than the other leaders in the world. He healed the sick (Mark 7:31-37), drove out demons (Mark 5:1-20), was recognized as Teacher and Lord (John 13:13), and had power over the wind and the ocean and ultimately even over death (Mark 4:35-41; Matthew 9:18-26).
Jesus’ leadership with a towel establishes a community of foot washers. It deletes the image of call and agitation for power, individuals rise over one another to get to the highest. Jesus’ example even puts to rest the notion that I wash your feet, so you wash mine. Rather, I wash your feet, so you’ll be able to successively wash another’s feet. it’s a leadership that fulfils the very best priority desires of those that we tend to lead. Like Mahatma Gandhi, several centuries later, Jesus’ model challenges our whole idea of power, of authority, of status. once his disciples were difference in their opinion regarding who would be greatest within the kingdom of God, Jesus said, “Whoever needs to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever needs to be best shall be slave to all.”
The best test that a servant leader should look at is to ask: Are those we tend to lead growing as persons? Are they changing into a healthier personality? Are they changing into wiser? Are they changing into freer person? Are they changing into a lot of autonomous? Are they a lot of doubtless changing into becoming servants themselves? And what’s the result of my leadership on the smallest privileged in society; can they enjoy and benefit from my service?
The discovery of the impact of Jesus Christ teaching within the twentieth century among the secular world was manifested in the gift of an honest and a very good example of a lady who epitomized servant leadership and by name-Theresa Bojaxhiu. She was born and raised in Albania. For many years, she washed the feet, the hands, the heads, and the bodies of the poorest of the poor in Calcutta and Manila and different cities. However, she conjointly touched those that don’t seem to be poor.
The lifetime of Theresa mirrored to the modern world an identical model that Jesus educated his disciples with the towel. The towel dramatized Jesus’ whole life. The towel revealed and explains the character and nature of his leadership. And His use of the towel is associate degree example for leaders everyplace. Families, organizations and societies altogether in all cultures round the world are healthier once leaders follow Jesus’ example daily.
Servant Leadership is a choice every person can make. Whether you are a leader of a large or small group, you can lead through Servant Leadership by
• listening and paying adequate attention to what is being said and not said
• Empowering others by modelling them into taking every available opportunity to lead
• Ensuring that you keep a very positive attitude.
• Desiring and seeking honest feedback because it builds trust
• Serving because it gives you the ability to influence the lives of others
Life is filled with curious and purposeful paradoxes. Servant-leadership is one such contradiction/paradox that has slowly and however for certain gained many thousands of adherents over the past 35 years. The seeds that are planted have begun to sprout in several establishments, still as within the hearts of the many who long to enhance the human condition. Servant-leadership is providing a framework from that several thousands of legendary and unknown people are serving to enhance how we have a tendency to treat those that do the work within our many establishments. Servant-leadership actually offers hope and steerage for a brand new era in human development, and for the creation of higher, better and a more caring establishments.
We are experiencing a speedy shift in several businesses and non-profit organizations— off from the more ancient/traditional autocratic and hierarchical models of leadership and toward servant leadership as a platform of being in relationship with others. Servant leadership seeks to engage others in deciding, is powerfully based mostly in moral and caring behaviour, and enhances the expansion of employees and still improves the caring and quality of structure life of the organisation.
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