Servant Leadership

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Question 1. What are the characteristics of servant leadership as propagated by Greenleaf (1970)? Give examples of servant leaders that you may know.

1. Listening – A critical communication tool, necessary for accurate communication and for actively demonstrating respect for others. According to Greenleaf, “Only a true natural servant automatically responds to any problem by listening first” (1970).

2. Empathy – The ability to mentally project one’s own consciousness into that of another individual. Greenleaf wrote, “The servant always accepts and empathizes, never rejects”, and “Men grow taller when those who lead them empathize, and when they are accepted for who they are…”(1970).

3. Healing – Greenleaf defined healing as “to make whole” (1970). The servantleader recognizes the shared human desire to find wholeness in one’s self, and supports it in others.

4. Awareness – Without awareness, “we miss leadership opportunities” (Greenleaf, 1970).

5. Persuasion – The effective servant-leader builds group consensus through “gentle but clear and persistent persuasion, and does not exert group compliance through position power. Greenleaf notes that “A fresh look is being taken at the issues of power and authority, and people are beginning to learn, however haltingly, to relate to one another in less coercive and more creatively supporting ways (1970). Servant-leadership utilizes personal, rather than position power, to influence followers and achieve organizational objectives.

6. Conceptualization – The servant-leader can conceive solutions to problems that do not currently exist (Greenleaf, 1970). 7. Foresight – “Prescience, or foresight, is a better than average guess about what is going to happen when in the future” (Greenleaf, 1970). 8. Stewardship – Organizational stewards, or ‘trustees’ are concerned not only for the individual followers within the organization, but also the organization as a whole, and its impact on and relationship with all...
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