Indiana Wesleyan University
May 4, 2010
Try a little servant leadership
Using a Servant Leadership model will help emerging businesses maintain intrinsic employee motivation, leading to superior human capital performance and subsequent revenue growth. The recession has cost many businesses more than just profits. With unemployment at an all time high and the threat of layoffs looming daily, employee morale is declining at an alarming rate. Threats to increase performance or be fired and the clichéd phrase of, “You should be happy you have a job,” do little more than undermine intrinsic employee motivation. But, is there an alternative organizations can implement that will motivate employees without draining the Human Resources budget and boost profits? This paper will seek to examine how using servant leadership can pilot the development of high performance teams and increase revenues. Over the course of researching information to support the thesis of this paper, several questions surfaced: Questions to be answered:
1. What is servant leadership?
Servant Leadership is a style of leading people where the Servant-leaders achieve results for their organizations by giving priority to the needs of their colleagues and internal and external customers, rather than themselves. Servant leaders seek first to serve those they are attempting to lead, and then work toward attaining the goals and objectives of the organization, leaving the satisfaction of their own goals as after everything else is completed.
Initial analysis of this leadership style appears on the surface to be detrimental to leadership’s personal growth and support, but after detailed research one can find that the needs of those that lead are being met by their followers. In essence, the leader derives motivation and support from the masses they are leading. 2. What are the values of servant leadership?
Vision, credibility, trust, service, modeling, pioneering, appreciation of others, and empowerment are among the tenets of good servant leaders. (Russell, 2001) At the very core are service and appreciation of others. The servant leadership style comes from Biblical principals with the role model and epitome of servant leadership being Jesus Christ. His unending service to others over himself as detailed in the New Testament is the style those aspiring to be good leaders look to emulate. Maxwell explains the biblical principles of Servant Leadership by citing that, “He (Jesus) teaches that the greatest must be the servant. Leadership is about adding value, not getting perks” (Maxwell, 2007, pg. 1207) 3. What are the three dimensions successful servant-leader managers must hold themselves accountable to? “Practicing the art of servant-leadership encompasses three dimensions— motives, means, and ends. Motives are about intentions—why we do something. Means are about methods—how we do it. Ends are about outcomes— what we’re trying to achieve.” (SanFacon & Spears, 2010) Although most leadership styles follow this formula, servant leadership encompasses one facet that the others do not. Servant leaders integrate the Motives, Means, and Ends of their followers as the critical component. When analyzing and strategically planning a corporation’s ends, the servant leader asks the question, “What is in this for my people?” How will this particular company goal impact the personal goals and challenges of those who work for me? And most importantly, how can I help my employees achieve their own personal work or career objectives along this path? Using this methodology not only ensures success of the overall target for the corporation, but has a direct impact on employee productivity. 4. What is the impact of a servant leader on employee productivity? Servant leaders tend to put their priorities in the following order: “follower’s first,...