When it comes to leadership everyone has a theory. A theory is just someone’s idea or speculation on how things should be done. Leadership is having the skills to lead others. So when you combine both of those you form leadership theories and in today’s society there are a ton of them. Now keep in mind that none of these have been proven to be 100% effective. Some may work better for certain people than others but they are famous because at some point those theories have worked for someone in a leadership role. When I think of a leader the words power, influence, and reward come to mind. Every theory that you look at normally revolves around at least one of those categories and talks about how to achieve those things. As a leader there are two specific theories that I like to keep in the top of my mind to try and help me be a better leader. Those theories are Principle Centered Leadership developed by Stephen Covey and Servant Leadership developed by Robert Greenleaf. This paper will define, compare, and contrast both Principle Centered Leadership and Servant Leadership theories. Both of these theories produce the concept of teamwork but they are both approached in different ways.
My favorite of the two theories is Stephen Covey’s Principle Centered Leadership. Specifically his book on The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People and the visual of The Maturity Continuum are simply amazing. Covey divides up the seven habits and talks about how they build on each other to help you progress further along the maturity continuum in life. The maturity continuum is divided up into three stages: dependence, independence, and interdependence. (Covey, 1989) Public and private victories split those three stages and divide up the seven habits. (Covey, 1989) Covey’s model represents what is called an “inside-out” approach to effective leadership that is based on your individual principles and character. (Quick MBA)
Looking at the three stages a little closer the dependence stage, is just what it sounds like, you are dependent upon other people. (Daft, 2007) Independence, again like it sounds, is when you are finally your own independent person capable of making your own decisions. (Daft, 2007) Interdependence is a little more complicated because it makes you develop yourself even further and makes you understand the importance of cooperation with others in order to be an effective leader. (Daft, 2007) Now let’s look deeper at the seven habits Covey explains are the keys to be a highly effective person and leader. Habit one is to be proactive. (Covey, 1989) This means that you are in control of your life and every choice you make will have a direct effect on your results. (Covey, 1989) Habit two is to begin with the end in mind. (Covey, 1989) This habit involves your ability to imagine or envision things in the future. (Covey, 1989) Stephen Covey had a great example of this habit in his book; he said “If your ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step you take gets you to the wrong place faster.” (Covey, 1989) Habit three is put first things first. (Covey, 1989) This means that you have to manage your life and make sure that you focus on things with the highest priorities first. (Covey, 1989) After achieving these first three habits you have passed from the dependence stage onto the independence stage and have achieved a private victory. (Covey, 1989)
Now let’s look deeper and find out how you can go from the independence stage to the interdependence stage that Covey talks about. There are three more habits you have to establish in order to get to the final stage in Covey’s model. Habit four is think win-win. (Covey, 1989) This means that you see life as cooperation and not competition. (Covey, 1989) Habit five is seek first to understand, then to be understood. (Covey, 1989) Stephen Covey says that this is the most...