Servant Leadership

Topics: Leadership, Organizational studies and human resource management, Organization Pages: 5 (1505 words) Published: June 10, 2007

Servant Leadership Effectiveness to Organizational Change
May 13, 2006

Real change leaders are not found among the top executives within an organization. Although, top executives participation is important to change within an organization, the real change leaders are middle and frontline managers, and he or she influence how the majority of people perform within the company. "The most difficult aspect of major change has little to do with getting the right concept, core process redesign, or even a team at the top. Major change lies in changing the people system – the skills and behavior of hundreds of employees down the line. Major change relies on the ability and attitudes of mid-level and frontline mangers" (Katzenbach, 1996, p150). This report will make a few observations of the strengths and weaknesses of servant leadership, and the effectiveness in organizational change. The report will also articulate the characteristics of servant leadership, and how this style affects organizational change. Effective Leadership

"Effective leaders strengthen the effort-to-performance expectancy by providing the information, support, and other resources necessary to help employees complete their tasks. For instance, the best performing self-directed work teams at Xerox had leaders who gave first priority to arranging organizational support for the team" (McShane & Von Glinow 2004, chap. 14, p 424). Path-goal theory advocates servant leadership provides resources to support employees in completing their tasks. Servant Leadership is the conviction that leaders serve followers by understanding their needs, and facilitating their job performance. Servant leaders ask, "How can I help?" rather than expecting the employees to serve them. "Servant leaders make serving employees, customers and the community their number one priority. A servant leader asks whether those the leader serves grow as persons. The servant leader asks, "Do those I serve become wiser, healthier, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants?" (Brown, Browne, Giampetro-Meyer, & Kubasek, 1998, 17: 1728)

Because of the leadership of several organizations like WorldCom and Enron questionable character and business practices, organizations are changing the way they do business. Business ethics has become a hot topic again and organizations are working attentively to guide executives in making the best decision, and ensure that he or she is doing the right thing. Servant leadership is considered because this style holds a unique promise as a way to develop organizations from an ethical perspective. Table 1 presents a list of strengths and weaknesses of Servant Leadership. Strengths

"Do no harm" is the first strength of servant leadership, and is becoming exceedingly difficult. Americans put an extraordinary demand on the rest of the world for resources and energy. Leaders cannot just do well but they need to avoid harm among followers.

Responsible reflective is regarded as strength of a servant leader because a successful servant leader uses the 14 character traits of a successful leader. These traits are integrity, vulnerability, discernment, awareness of the human spirit, courage in relationships, sense of humor, intellectual energy and curiosity, respect for the future, regard for the present, understanding of the past, predictability, breadth, comfort with ambiguity, and presence. The servant leadership style is for the most part consistent with the idea of responsible reflective.

Responsible reflective is important and fills the need for the corporation to behave as though the company has a sense of right and wrong. In other words, this process requires the leaders to engage in logical, analytical reasoning and obey laws. When faced with a decision, the leader who engages in responsible reflective does not make snap decisions, but take full...

References: Katzenbach, J.R. (1996). Change Management: Real change leaders. The McKinsey Quarterly, 1, 148-163.
McShane, S. L. & Von Glinow, M. A. (2004). Leadership in Organizational Settings (3rd. ed.). Organizational Behavior: Emerging Realities for the Workplace Revolution Leadership in Organizational Setting, 14, 414-441. New York: The McGraw-Hill Companies.
Brown, T., Browne, M. N., Giampetro-Meyer, A. & Kubasek, N. (1998). Do We Really Want More Leaders in Business? Journal of Business Ethics, 17(15), 1727-1736. Retrieved April 29, 2006 from EBSCO database.
Kuzmenko, T. N., Montagno, R. V., & Smith, B. N. (2004). Transformational and Servant Leadership: Content and Contextual Comparisons. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 10(4), 80-91. Retrieved May 7, 2006 from EBSCOhost database.
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