Servant leadership is said to be the most ethical strategy of management. What is your idea about servant leadership? How does servant leadership differ from traditional leadership? In my opinion, the concept of servant leadership has existed for centuries. This form of management is characterized with the ethical approach towards leadership, employees, customers and human society in the whole. A servant-leader is the leader who cares about employee satisfaction, the quality of their performance, the quality of goods and services and their usefulness for consumers.
In simple words, a servant-leader is the leader who wants to develop his own business for the good of the entire society.
To my mind, it will be right to focus on the historical development of the concept of servant leadership. Firstly, it is a kind of philosophy, which is based on altruism. It is possible to say that servant leadership was applied in China. The idea of this model of leadership was based on the fact that the leader worked in such a way that people barely knew about the existence of this leader. The same model of leadership existed in India. The ideal ruler is the one who cares about the wellbeing of his people but not about his own wealth. There are many details of servant leadership in Christianity. When one reads the Bible, he will notice that Jesus and Apostles said about the ideal rulers. The ruler is supposed to be responsible for every person in his country. He should be willing to help them.
The modern understanding of servant leadership is based on the essay, The Servant as Leader, written by Robert Greenleaf in 1970. His understanding of a servant-leader is associated with the proper encouragement of the team of employees. The right leader should start working first in order to encourage others. Moreover, he should be interested in the wellbeing of his employees and customers.
Traditional leadership is represented by the leader who is situated on the top of the corporate pyramid. He cares about the wellbeing of his firm and his own family. Such leaders exploit employees, reduce salaries and produce poor-quality goods and services forgetting about their harm to the consumer’s health. Finally, they do not care about the environment and human society in general. No wonder, such firms are connected with corruption, pollution, etc. Unfortunately, nearly every entrepreneur embodies this traditional model of leadership nowadays.
Every servant-leader should build his company according to the principles of morality and ethics. He cooperates with his employees and invents the best solutions of the existing problems.
Furthermore, the leader cares about the proper working conditions for his employees in order to improve employee satisfaction and performance. As a result, the leader achieves loyal employees.
Then, it is important to care about the wellbeing of every business partner. No wonder, a good leader will try to satisfy investors and stakeholders, because they are important for the development of his company. Next, a servant-leader is supposed to care about the life and health of every customer. It is important to produce healthy and ecologically safe goods, which will not cause harm to the consumer’s health. When a customer is satisfied with the quality and price of a product, he becomes loyal to this firm or brand. The company ruled by a servant-leader will try to contribute into the development of the human society. For example, such companies play the role of sponsors of various sports competitions and organize various social events. They help the people who are in need and do their best to create the ideal society.
Servant leadership is a special set of techniques, which are aimed at the proper organization of the process of production. The leader is responsible for the development of his firm, his employees, customers and the wellbeing of the human society. Unfortunately, there are very few companies, which apply this model of leadership on practice.
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